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Cancer Death Rates Fall in United States

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WASHINGTON, Jun 03, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- An American Cancer Society report says death rates for all cancers have fallen steadily in the United States since the 1990s, the Washington Times said.

The drop includes the four top cancer killers -- lung, colon, breast and prostate, which showed a decline of 1.1 percent annually between 1993 and 2001.

"This is wonderful. We are really making progress" in fighting cancer, said Ahmedin Jemal, program director of cancer surveillance for the society, who was the report's lead author.

Jemal said the U.S. cancer death rate peaked in 1991, and that from then to 2001, the overall death rate dropped 9 percent to 10 percent.

The study attributed the fall to more aggressive prevention, earlier detection, improved treatment and longer survival.

Jemal said death rates have fallen in 11 of the top 15 types of cancer afflicting men, and also have dropped in eight of the top 15 types of cancer affecting women.

Childhood cancers also showed some of the biggest improvements in survival during the past two decades. There has been an increase of 20 percent in the survival rate among boys and of 13 percent among girls, the report said.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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