ATLANTA (WBZ NewsRadio) — A new report from the American Cancer Society says that the rate of people dying from cancer in the United States has seen its largest single-year drop to date.
The report, published Wednesday in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, details that there was a 2.2% decline in overall cancer deaths from 2016-2017.
This is the 26th year in a row that the U.S. cancer death rate has seen a decline.
At its peak in 1991, there were about 215 cancer deaths for every 100,000 people; as of 2017, that rate has dropped overall by 29%.
"What is really driving that is the acceleration in the decline of mortality for lung cancer," said Rebecca Siegel, first author of the report and scientific director of surveillance research at the American Cancer Society. "The reason that is encouraging is because lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, causing more deaths in the US than breast, colorectal cancer and prostate cancers combined."
Siegel contributes the biggest factor in this decline to reductions in smoking, but also contributing are "improvements in treatment as well as early detection for some cancers, like breast and colorectal cancer."
The report also projects there will be about 1.8 million cancer cases diagnosed in the United States this year, which is equivalent to about 4,950 new cases each day.
You can read the full report here.