Monday, December 7, 2009

Cancer Death Rates Fall--Serious Medicine Works!

From the journal Cancer, via CNN:

New cancer cases and mortality rates linked to the disease have fallen significantly in recent years for almost all gender and ethnic groups in the United States, researchers said Monday.

Cancer diagnosis rates decreased by an average of 1 percent per year from 1999 to 2006, the last year data are available, according to an annual report in the journal Cancer.

Mortality rates declined between 2001 and 2006, according to the report. The decline was bigger among men, at 2 percent per year. For women, it was 1.5 percent per year in the same period.

"Death rates for all cancers combined from 2002 through 2006 were highest for black men and women and lowest for Asian/Pacific Islander men and women," the report said.

The declines in mortality rates were a result of a drop in death rates from common cancers: lung, prostate and colorectal in men; and breast and colorectal cancers in women. These are the leading types of cancer in men and women, respectively, the report said.

Despite an increase in the late 1990s, rates of breast cancer in women decreased by an average of 1.2 percent per year between 1997 and 2006, the report said.

Also decreasing were the rates of lung and bronchus oral cavity cancers among men and uterine and ovarian cancer among women, it said.

Serious Medicine works! The positive results are a result of better health behavior, but also better screening, and better treatment. (And of course, the behavioral changes, routine as they might seem, are in fact the result of serious research in decades past. That's the goal: Turn Serious Medicine into Routine Medicine.)

One would think that the political class would be more eager to take credit for these successes. But instead, it would appear that they are too busy rumbling over health insurance financing.

Pic is of colo-rectal cancer cells, from the Wellcome Trust.

1 comment:

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