internal medicine

Death rate continues to decline among U.S. cancer patients

Good news about cancer.

Steady reductions in smoking combined with advances in cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment have resulted in a 23 percent drop in the cancer death rate since its peak in 1991, the American Cancer Society reported recently in a new study.

The drop translates to more than 1.7 million cancer deaths averted through 2012, the study found.

At Signature Medical Group, we’re delighted with those statistics but we’d like to do even better. Our team of specialists offers a wide array of preventative and treatment options to make sure you get the best care regarding cancer.

Our gynecological oncologists are board-certified specialists who have an additional three to four years of training in treating gynecologic cancers from a rigorous program approved by the American Board of Oncology. The extra years of training and greater specialization give gynecological oncologists more knowledge about how to best manage your care.

Our colorectal surgeons offer the latest in diagnosis and treatment for disorders of the colon, rectum and anus.

Our dedicated primary care doctors are a resource in maintaining your health. It’s not enough to focus on one specific area – we center our attention on your overall well-being and consider the activities that affect you every day.

Other findings from the cancer report:

  • Among children and adolescents (birth through age 19), brain cancer has surpassed leukemia as the leading cause of cancer death, a result of more rapid therapeutic advances against leukemia.
  • Thyroid cancer continues to be the most rapidly increasing cancer (5 percent per year in men and women), partially due to overdiagnosis because of the increased use of advanced imaging techniques.
  • Colorectal cancer incidence and death rates declined by about 3  percent per year in men and women from 2003 through 2012, with momentum gaining in the most recent years. However, rates increased by 1.8 percent per year from 1992 through 2012 in men and women younger than 50, among whom screening is not recommended for those at average risk.
  • In contrast to stable or declining trends for most cancers, incidence rates increased from 2003 to 2012 among men and women for some leukemia subtypes and for cancers of the tongue, tonsil, small intestine, liver, pancreas, kidney, renal pelvis, and thyroid.
  • In addition, incidence rates increased in men for melanoma; myeloma; and cancers of the breast, testis, and oropharynx. Among women, incidence rates increased for cancers of the anus, vulva, and uterine corpus.
  • Recent declines in incidence for melanoma and liver cancer among young adults may portend a reduction in the burden of these cancers in the future.
  • Death rates from cancer have dropped from a peak of 215.1 per 100,000 in 1991 to 166.4 in 2012. The decline is larger in men (28 percent since 1990) than in women (19 percent since 1991).
  • Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women ages 20 to 59, while lung cancer is the cause of cancer death in women 60 and older. Among men, leukemia is the leading cause of cancer death for those ages 20 to 39, whereas lung cancer ranks first among men 40 and older.

At Signature Medical Group, you’re more than just a statistic to us. We care about your overall well-being and want to keep you on the road to good health. Make an appointment today to see one our specialists.