Cancer

U.S. Cancer Death Rate Continues 30-Year Decline While the Incidence Rate Is Flat

Good news from the latest Cancer Statistics 2021 report

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The American Cancer Society's latest roundup of cancer statistics is now out and the news is generally good. The data on cancer mortality and incidence rates are through 2018 and 2017 respectively.

The report notes that "after increasing for most of the 20th century, the cancer death rate has fallen continuously from its peak in 1991 through 2018 [latest data], for a total decline of 31 percent, because of reductions in smoking and improvements in early detection and treatment. This translates to 3.2 million fewer cancer deaths than would have occurred if peak rates had persisted." The falling cancer mortality trend can be largely attributed to increased early detection along with the advent of effective new treatments for various blood cancers, non-small cell lung cancer, and melanoma.

On the other hand, cancer incidence rates have flattened in recent years. As the report notes incidence trends reflect both patterns in behaviors associated with cancer risk (reduced smoking) and changes in medical practice, such as the use of cancer screening tests.

An example of the latter is changes in the incidence rates for prostate cancer over time. In the 1980s and 1990s, incidence rose steeply as physicians using the new prostate specific antigen test detected more cases at earlier stages. Prostate cancer incidence rates fell after the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended in 2012 against routine use of the test to screen for prostate cancer. Subsequently, the incidence of more serious prostate cancers increased and testing was once again recommended. This resulted in a recent increase in detected prostate cancers that has contributed to the recent flattening of the overall cancer incidence rate.

The report does note that in 2020, the diagnosis and treatment of cancer was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic. One consequence in future reports may be a short-term drop in cancer incidence due to foregone testing followed by an increase in more serious later stage diagnoses and eventually increased mortality.

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  1. The cancer rate has been declining for 30 years because the coronavirus can time travel and kill people before it was let loose upon the world.

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  2. Did the authors of the study consider AOC, Twitter, or Reddit to be forms of cancer?

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  4. I was going to comment on the possibility that any decrease in 2020 could likely be the result of anyone who died of cancer while having COVID was classified as a COVID death (or in a number of cases) and that diagnosis procedures were severely hampered especially in the spring, but Bailey did mention at least the diagnosis part in the last paragraph.

    1. Yes – any SPECIFIC cause of death could be reduced by attributing the cause of death to covid instead. Which of course means that the number of deaths doesn’t actually change – only the percentage of particular causes of deaths. Which is really great news. Except. It isn’t well – you know – true. But god damn it. It’s GREAT NEWS!!!! Now it’s true isn’t it.

      1. The ministry of truth says it’s true.

  5. Can we blame this on Trump too?

    1. You can impeach him for it too. Why maybe they could impeach him next year for playing golf.

  6. The female death rate is way lower than the male death rate, should we Start offing female cancer patients?
    #genderequality

    1. It would be morally wrong for a government to execute people. So, the obvious and just answer is to give more women cancer. To avoid cruel and unusual punishment, we’d only give minor tax evasion, petty theft, and low-level assault convicts cancers like Stage 1 breast or skin cancer and reserve things like brain cancer or stage 5 pancreatic cancer for the most violent offenders. It would be more humane than executing them because you could mostly choose to reverse the cancer at any time.

    2. Just charge women more for cancer treatment. It’s not a tax.

      1. Doubleplus for white women.

  7. Yet vaping, an option for adults to choose that has a lot going for it compared to smoking, is subject to another round of noose-tightening.
    https://vaping360.com/vape-news/107649/congress-will-ban-vape-mail-force-online-sellers-into-the-pact-act/

    1. The most important sentence in the ACS report
      “Lung cancer accounted for almost one-half (46%) of the total decline in cancer mortality from 2014 to 2018”

      The sharp decline in cigarette smoking (which is what I’ve successfully campaigned to achieve for the past 35 years) has been responsible for half of the decline in US cancer deaths.

      But Big Pharma financed American Cancer Society (in collusion with Big Pharm financed Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, American Lung Association, American Heart Association and many different medical societies) lobbied Congress in collusion with Philip Morris from 2004-2009 to protect cigarettes (from market competition by far less harmful smokeless tobacco products) via the Tobacco Control Act.

      Also in 2009, those same Big Pharma shills lobbied FDA to further protect cigarettes by banning the sales of novel nicotine vapor products (which are 99% less harmful than cigarettes), which FDA did within weeks.

      After losing a lawsuit in federal court (that kept vapor products legal), the FDA proposed and then imposed (per lobbying by those same Big Pharma shills) the “Deeming Regulation” in 2014, which banned the sale of all vapor products not approved by the FDA (and FDA still hasn’t approved any vapor products, even though they approved hundreds of cigarette brands a decade ago).

      While FDA’s vapor sales ban took effect on Sept 9, 2020, the agency hasn’t enforcement it ban yet.

      Then the same Big Pharma shills lobbied Congress to include a ban on mailing vapor product via the USPS in the covid stimulas bill that was enacted in December.

      And yet, during the past decade, cigarette smoking by teens and young adults declined by 75% as they switched from cigarettes to vapor products, which are 99% less harmful than cigarettes.

      So why have these Big Pharma shills (that falsely portray themselves as public health groups) lobbied to protect cigarettes for the past two decades?

      The correct answer is because Big Pharma paid them to do so in order to protect future sales/profits of J&J/GSK Nicoderm and Nicorette, and Pfizer’s Chantix (as Big Pharma depends upon tens of millions of cigarette smokers for much of their sales and profits).

    2. Id like to throw out that smoking rates are down 80ish percent from 1990, but lung cancer rates are only down 25%. For women, lung cancer rates are actually up.
      Im not saying smoking isnt harmful, but their settled science on the effects of smoking were obviously not quite accurate.

  8. I’ll bet that in the year 2020, the cancer death rate will approach zero.
    You can guess why.

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