August 13, 2009
War on cancer succeeding, but few realize
Significant battles have been won in the war on cancer, but it is unappreciated by the public because of the way it is reported, U.S. researchers said.
Dr. Eric Kort, who completed the study while at the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Mich., examined cancer mortality rates stratified by age and found that for individuals born since 1925, every age group has experienced a decline in cancer mortality.The study, published in the journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, the youngest age groups have experienced the steepest decline at 25.9 percent per decade, but even the oldest groups have experienced a 6.8 percent per decade decline.
Our efforts against cancer, including prevention, early detection and better treatment, have resulted in profound gains, but these gains are often unappreciated by the public due to the way the data are usually reported, Kort said in a statement.
The public often hears about incidence rates, which are rising across many cancer types, or mortality proportions, with the World Health Organization's assertion that death from cancer will surpass death from heart disease by 2010. However, both heart disease and cancer have been declining, but heart disease mortality rates have been declining much more rapidly, Kort explained.