American Cancer Society Report: Since 1991, Cancer Death Rate Decreases 25%

The American Cancer Society, which releases an annual survey of cancer trends, reports a death rate from cancer that is 25% lower than it was a quarter-century ago — a drop driven by steady reductions in smoking rates and advances in early detection and treatment, in this story from the Los Angeles Times.

Better treatment protocols and more targeted therapies have driven the most dramatic improvements in the survival of patients with malignancies of the blood and lymph system, says the American Cancer Society’s annual report card on cancer.

The Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, is credited with improving cancer survival rates in ethnic minorities. In African Americans, and black men especially, cancers have long been discovered later and treated less effectively, a trend that is closely linked to those patients’ lower rates of health insurance and poorer access to healthcare.

Between 2010 and 2015, the Affordable Care Act shrunk the ranks of the uninsured from 21% to 11% among African Americans, and from 31% to 16% among Latinos.

“These shifts should help to expedite progress in reducing socioeconomic disparities in cancer, as well as other health conditions,” the report says.

This report also notes that while recommendations for the frequency and timing of mammographic detection of breast cancer have been scaled back, deaths from breast cancer continue to decline.

Learn more in this story from the Los Angeles Times.

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