As deaths caused by cancer and heart disease have dropped significantly for over two decades, cancer surfaces as lead cause of death in 22 U.S. states. At the national level, heart disease still occupies the prime spot.
Nonetheless, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, California, Idaho, Delaware, Kansas, Maine, Kentucky, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, North Carolina, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin and Washington are the states where cancer is the lead cause of death.
According to the latest report published by the American Cancer Society, cancer surfaces as lead cause of death in 22 U.S. states. Moreover, it’s the lead cause of death for some groups including adults aged 40 to 70, Asians and Hispanics.
Over the past two decades and a half, the number of deaths related to heart disease or cancer have both followed a steep downward trend. Since cancer-related deaths reached a peak in 1991, the number has dropped by a scalable 23 percentage points. Medical advances in addition to declining smoking rates have contributed to the spiralling down. By comparison, heart disease-related deaths dropped by 46 percent in the same time period.
Despite these advances, the American Cancer Society reports that an estimated 1.7 million new cases of cancer will be detected this year. Sadly, 600,000 deaths due to cancer are also expected to occur.
The report published by American Cancer Society states that overall cancer incidence is stable with women. With men, cancer incidence dropped by 3.1 percent over the past two decades. The latter rate is explained by a rapid drop in prostate cancer cases due to better diagnosis and prevention strategies. Overall, cancer mortality dropped by 1.8 percent in men per year and 1.4 percent in women.
Nationally, the drop in cancer mortality is due to a decrease of lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer. Between 1990 and 2012, lung cancer rate dropped by 38 percent with men. During the same period, lung cancer rate with women dropped by 13 percent.
While heart disease mortality remains on top at the national level and cancer mortality leads in 22 states, the fight isn’t over. Both incidence rates have declined steadily over the past two decades. Nonetheless, more needs to be done to address the two leading causes of death at the national level.
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