Cancer on the decline

Rates continue to fall

The rate of new cancer diagnoses and deaths appears to be on the decline, according to a recent report.

New cancer cases decreased by 1 percent and deaths from cancer decreased by 1.6 percent between 2003 and 2007, according to the report co-authored by the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Cancer Society. The declines are consistent with a trend that began in the 1990s, which many researchers say may be attributed to better screening and treatments.

The report shows a decline for the first time in the number of deaths of women with lung cancer. Lung-cancer deaths in men, in comparison, began to decline about a decade ago. Women started smoking in later decades than men, causing their mortality rate to peak later, said Lynn Ries, an NCI statistician who co-authored the report.