With Advanced Treatments, Cancer Death Toll Drops 25% Over Last Quarter-Century
The numbers show a continuing gender gap though, with death rates 40 percent higher for men than women. In other cancer news, spending on oncology eclipses other diseases for first time.
Los Angeles Times:
Death Rate From Cancer Now 25% Lower Than It Was 25 Years Ago, Report Says
In the year to come, an estimated 1,688,780 people in the United States are expected to get a cancer diagnosis, and cancer will claim the lives of a projected 600,920. That death toll, however grim, represents 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. Between 1991 and 2014, that boost in cancer survivorship translates to approximately 2,143,200 fewer cancer deaths than might have been expected if death rates had remained at their peak. (Healy, 1/5)
The Washington Post:
Cancer Death Rate Has Dropped Again. But It’s Still Higher For Men Than Women.
That gender disparity reflects differences in the kind of cancers that men and women develop. For example, liver cancer, which is often lethal, is three times more common in men, largely because of their higher rates of hepatitis C infection, smoking and excess alcohol consumption. The largest gender disparities are for cancers of the esophagus, larynx and bladder; incidence and death rates are four times higher in men, the report said. (McGinley, 1/5)
Here’s Why The Cancer Death Rate Has Plummeted
The drop is fueled by decreasing death rates from the four largest types of cancer: lung, breast, prostate and colorectal. “It’s pretty exciting for us that the cancer death rate continues to decline,” says Rebecca Siegel, strategic director of surveillance information services at the American Cancer Society and lead author of the annual report, which was published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. “We’re making a lot of progress.” (Oaklander, 1/5)
Cheating Death Can Cost $200,000 As Cancer Tops Pharma Sales
That cancer angst, combined with prices that have surpassed $200,000 a year for revolutionary new treatments, is poised to give oncology medicines the biggest share of the $519-billion global pharmaceuticals market this year, eclipsing drugs for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases for the first time. And while drugmakers claim the revenue will propel innovation, the costs are stoking patients’ distress and creating a rift between manufacturers, health authorities and payers in many markets. (Naomi Kresge, 1/5)
In other public health news —
The Nation’s Birth Rate Declined In 2015, New Data Says
Fewer babies were born in the United States, the latest government data show, and new mothers relied less on cesarean deliveries. Women gave birth to nearly 4 million babies in the United States in 2015, down 1 percent from a year earlier, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means the nation’s fertility rate saw a small but noteworthy drop with 62.5 births for every 1,000 women ages 15 to 44. (Santhanam, 1/5)