SSM Health Medical Minute: Cancer death rate down 25 percent

ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - The death rate from cancer in the United States has declined steadily over the past 2 decades, according to annual statistics reporting from the American Cancer Society.

The cancer death rate for men and women combined fell 25 percent from its peak in 1991 to 2014, the most recent year for which data are available. This decline translates to more than 2.1 million deaths averted during this time period.

A total of 1,688,780 new cancer cases and 600,920 deaths from cancer are projected to occur in the US in 2017.

During the most recent decade of available data, the rate of new cancer diagnoses decreased by about 2 percent per year in men and stayed about the same in women. The cancer death rate declined by about 1.5 percent annually in both men and women.

Lung, colorectal, prostate, and breast cancers continue to be among the most common causes of cancer death, accounting for about 46 percent of the total cancer deaths among men and women. More than 1 out of every 4 cancer deaths is due to lung cancer.

Among men, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer will account for 42% of all newly diagnosed cancers in 2017, with prostate cancer alone accounting for about 1 in 5 cases. Among women, the 3 most common cancers in 2017 will be breast, lung, and colorectal, which together will account for about half of all cases. Breast cancer alone is expected to account for 30% of all new cancer cases among women.

SSM Cancer Care physicians and nurse navigators offer a higher level of personalized care.

SSM Health Cancer Care has locations throughout the St. Louis and St. Charles communities so you are never far from home. To find a SSM Health Cancer Care location near you, click here.