Cancer

Cancer Incidence Rate Continues Downward And So Does Cancer Mortality

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Cancer.jpg
ScienceDaily

Every year at about this time, the American Cancer Society publishes the most recent data on cancer incidence and mortality rates. The good news is again that rumors of an increasing cancer epidemic are false. The latest study in the journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians reports:

During the most recent 5 years for which there are data (2006-2010), delay-adjusted cancer incidence rates declined slightly in men (by 0.6% per year) and were stable in women, while cancer death rates decreased by 1.8% per year in men and by 1.4% per year in women. The combined cancer death rate (deaths per 100,000 population) has been continuously declining for 2 decades, from a peak of 215.1 in 1991 to 171.8 in 2010. This 20% decline translates to the avoidance of approximately 1,340,400 cancer deaths (952,700 among men and 387,700 among women) during this time period.

On Sunday, the New York Times published a terrific article, "Why Everyone Seems to Have Cancer." Short answer: Because everyone is living long enough to get it nowadays. A significant proportion of the explanation for why Americans are now living long enough to get cancer is because of the steep drop in cardiovascular mortality. See chart below:

HeartCancer
CDC

As the Times article notes:

Surprisingly, only a small percentage of cancers have been traced to the thousands of synthetic chemicals that industry has added to the environment.

Surprisingly? I guess it is a surprise to most people given the relentless misinformation peddled by environmental activists with regard to the risks of exposures to trace amounts of synthetic chemicals. In any case, the Times correctly concludes:

Maybe someday some of us will live to be 200. But barring an elixir for immortality, a body will come to a point where it has outwitted every peril life has thrown at it. And for each added year, more mutations will have accumulated. If the heart holds out, then waiting at the end will be cancer.

Maybe. Advances in molecular medicine hold out the hope that the aging broken cellular mechanisms that give rise to cancer can be repaired.

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  1. Ron,

    Mentioned this on thread the other day, but will repeat here. Please make your graphs clickable to bigger image so that they are fucking readable.

    1. +1 magnifying glass

  2. This 20% decline translates to the avoidance of approximately 1,340,400 cancer deaths (952,700 among men and 387,700 among women) during this time period.

    Yay! I’m one of those! And, since it was my 2013 New Year’s resolution not to get cancer for the entire year, I’m pretty damn proud of myself. I should write a self-improvement book or something.

    1. Unfortunately, I failed on the resolution to not get cancer, but I succeed on the resolution to have the chemo work. Hopefully I can still say that after my next CT scan in March.

      1. Unfortunately, I failed on the resolution to not get cancer

        Your failure sickens me. Well, not literally.

        In all seriousness, good luck with your chemo. Let us know what happens.

        1. So far so good. Chemo is over, assuming that it doesn’t come back.

          Non-seminoma testicular cancer at age 33. At least it was pretty treatable, even though “it’s Stage 3 and metastasized to the nearby lymph nodes and there are a couple spots in the lungs” is never a fun thing to hear, but given my blood levels still a 95% chance of cure and survival starting out.

          1. JT: Here’s hoping you stay well.

          2. Bad news: Your long term survival rate is 0%.

            1. But here is hoping for a nice, long mid term survival.

      2. Death to the mutants! Good luck with your recovery.

  3. On Sunday, the New York Times published a terrific article, “Why Everyone Seems to Have Cancer.” Short answer: Because everyone is living long enough to get it nowadays.

    This is excellent. Thanks. Ron.

    Me: “Here honey, read this. Cancer rates are declining.” [Hands her Ron’s article]

    Wife-unit: “That!? I’m not reading anything from those nutjobs. It was probably financed by the chemical industry.”

    Me: “Here honey, read this. Cancer rates are declining.” [Hands her NYT article]

    Wife-unit: “Oh my god, did you read this? This is fascinating!”

  4. Everybody gets cancer. Multiple times. That’s why we need free unlimited health care from the government.

    1. I was talking to an oncologist not long ago. We were talking about early screening, especially for prostate cancer.

      He said nearly every male gets prostate cancer, and I probably have some cancer cells right now. However, the vast majority of people with prostate cancer die of something else.

      And, he said that most people generally have some kind of cancer cells in their body, period. The question isn’t “Do you have cancer?”, its “Do you have cancer that is likely to get out of control and kill you?”.

  5. Obviously, it is because of the increase in organic produce sales, and the prohibition on irradiated foods.

    Victory!

    /double sarcasm

  6. “Because everyone is living long enough to get it nowadays”

    Oh BS. I hate this cop out of an explanation that basically suggests cancer is inevitable. Maybe the cancer trends are following the CVD trends because the same drugs that are driving CVD down are unintentionally driving cancer down.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/335/6064/28

  7. Just you wait until the Fukushima RADIATION DEATH CLOUD arrives!

  8. Speaking of voodoo medicine, apparently Jenny McCarthy is vehemently denying rumors her child is not in reality “autistic’. I have no idea if this means the child is merely a garden variety moron.

    It’s a Salon story, so you’re on your own.

    1. Yes, I saw that. I don’t wish death on anybody, but taking advice on vaccination from Jenny McCarthy is definitely one of those things that makes me wish adults suffered the physical effects of the decisions they make for their children.

  9. Does the NYT discuss the increase in efficiency of cancer detection technology?

    My Mom’s Mom died from breast cancer when my Mom was 14, and then my Mom also was diagnosed with the same. Because they were able to detect it earlier my Mom survived and is now cancer free.

    Of course this is anecdotal, but I can imagine the statistics would support the argument that the increase in efficiency of cancer detection technology has made a serious impact in survival rates.

  10. Eventually, life expectancy will start going up by more than one year per year. Those of us who are still around and still in good shape will become immortal.

    1. As long as I live long enough to be around long enough to see the advent of those in-home hot hooker Beamer inner dealies as featured in Logan’s Run I will be happy to die exhausted and broke

    2. I wouldn’t bet on it, CE, unless the life expectancy for old people starts going up more than a year per year.

      1. It does seem like the rapid decline in deaths of children of both sexes under the age of 5, approaching 1 in 10000 for girls, must have a huge effect on the average here.

  11. In today’s environment, shouldn’t every article like this mention costs? Everyone is living longer! Hooray! And we are putting all of the expense of this on our kid’s credit card! Hooray!

  12. During the most recent 5 years for which there are data (2006-2010)

    See, ObamaCare is working!

  13. I achieved complete remission from multiple myeloma in 4/99. While this is technically a “cure” in my mind it is more about remaining cancer free. I can always relapse and I can have a secondary cancer…

    Therefore my diet focuses on supplementing with complementary therapies such as systemic enzymes such as papain, trypsin, etc. linked below. Click below to read the science and order free samples.

    http://peoplebeatingcancer.org…..-effects-0

    David Emerson
    PeopleBeatingCancer

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