Fewer people dying from cancer

Arnett Lillers says she is fed up with the “C-word.”  She’s talking about cancer, and to her it’s a bad word.  A word that is associated with pain and suffering.

“I’ve lost my husband, both of my parents, and a sister to cancer,” she said.  “It seems like everyone knows someone who has the disease and probably knows someone that has died of it too.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has some good news for Lillers and for the public.  According to a recent study, the number of people dying from cancer is dropping.  The news comes from the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer where cancer cases between 2003-2007 were examined.

“It is gratifying to see the continued steady decline in overall cancer incidence and death rates in the United States – the result of improved methods for preventing, detecting, and treating several types of cancer,” Harold Varmus, National Cancer Institute Director said in a news release.  “That said, as our population continues to age, we have an obligation to discover and deliver better ways to control all types of cancers.”

More interesting findings:
*For the first time, lung cancer deaths in women are dropping
*More children were diagnosed with cancer, but fewer died from it (Child is classified as 19 years or younger)
*Fewer women were diagnosed with breast, lung, colorectal, uterine, cervical, and bladder cancer
*Fewer men were diagnosed with lung, colon, rectum and stomach cancer

While both men and women saw a drop in lung cancer, doctors say it still claims more lives than any other cancer.  States with aggressive anti-smoking campaigns seem to fare better than those that don’t, according to Thomas Frieden, Director of the CDC.  He believes showing the impacts of secondhand smoke and the threats cigarettes pose to a person’s health does have an impact on cancer rates.

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