Cancer is not the death sentence that it once was. New research reveals that Americans are living longer than ever before despite being diagnosed with the devastating disease. The American Cancer Society credits prevention efforts and lifestyle changes as reasons for the reduction.
Image via Wikipedia
The latest cancer report from the Cancer Society says almost one million deaths from cancer were avoided between 1990 and 2007 which is the most recent year that they have statistics for. Over the period, cancer deaths dropped over 20% in men and almost 15% in women. The biggest declines were noted in cases of death from Colorectal cancer and that is directly connected to more early screening for that type of cancer.
Breast cancer deaths have also been declining dramatically and again doctors credit early detection. More and more women are getting mammograms and that means that the cancer can be detected before it spreads and while it is still relatively easy to treat. Efforts by the Cancer Society and government agencies to promote events like Breast Cancer Awareness Month are leading more women to get tested.
One disturbing revelation in the study is that cancer deaths are declining most among well educated people. Researchers believe this may be a socio-economic factor where people with money have better access to early screening. The study found that people at the lower end of the socio-economic scale are more than twice as likely to develop cancer as those closer to the top. The Cancer Society is encouraging better public health efforts to reach low income Americans to protect them from dying from cancer.