Cancer death rates down 23% from all-time high

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The American Cancer Society says that cancer death rates are continuing to go down. The latest data shows a 23% decrease in the cancer death rate, since it peaked in the early 1990s. That means 1.7 million fewer people died from the disease.

Breast cancer deaths alone have dropped 36% since peaking in 1989. Deaths from colorectal cancers have declined by about 50%.

The drop in death rates is attributed to a number of factors, including more people being tested for cancer, better treatment, and reformed social norms- such as how people consider smoking.

If we could get people to stop using tobacco and comply with screening recommendations, we’ll have even fewer cases of cancer and fewer cancer deaths,” said Dr. Wilson Mertens, Director of Cancer Services at Baystate Health.

Mertens says that the basic recommendations for preventative cancer measures are eating healthy- more vegetables and fewer processed meats- and going to the doctor for regular screenings.

Click here for information about scheduling a cancer screening.

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