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U.S. cancer rates down after 1991 peak

ATLANTA (UPI) — From 1991 to 2009, the overall U.S. death rate for cancer declined 20 percent, but 580,350 cancer deaths are projected in 2013, researchers say.

The report by the American Cancer Society said U.S. cancer peaked in 1991 and the decline in cancer translated into the avoidance of approximately 1.2 million deaths from cancer — 152,900 of these in 2009 alone.

But a total of 1,660,290 new U.S. cancer cases and 580,350 cancer deaths are projected to occur in 2013 — in men, cancers of the prostate, lung and colorectum will account for half of all newly diagnosed cancers and among women breast, lung and colorectum will account for about half of all cancer cases.

While incidence rates are declining for most cancers, they are increasing among both men and women for melanoma of the skin and cancers of the liver, thyroid and pancreas.

“We must also recognize that not all demographic groups have benefited equally from these gains, particularly those diagnosed with colorectal or breast cancer, where earlier detection and better treatments are credited for the improving trends,” John R. Seffrin, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society, said in a statement.

“We can and must close this gap so that people are not punished for having the misfortune of being born poor and disadvantaged.”

The findings were published online ahead of the print edition of Cancer Statistics 2013, published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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