(HealthDay News) – Cancer death rates have been decreasing steadily for the past two decades, with the magnitude of the decrease varying with age, race, and sex, according to a report published online Jan. 7 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Rebecca Siegel, MPH, from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues collected data on cancer incidence and mortality to estimate the number of new cancer cases and deaths that will occur in the United States in the current year.

The researchers note that 1,665,540 new cancer cases and 585,720 cancer deaths are projected for the United States in 2014. The delay-adjusted cancer incidence rates decreased slightly in the past five years (2006–2010) in men (0.6% per year) and remained stable in women. For men and women, cancer death rates decreased by 1.8% and 1.4% per year, respectively. The combined cancer death rate has been decreasing steadily for two decades, with a 20% decrease noted from 1991–2010, representing approximately 1,340,400 cancer deaths avoided during this time period. Considerable differences were seen in the magnitude of the decline in cancer death rates with age, sex, and race, ranging from no decrease among white women aged ≥80 years to a 55% decrease among 40- to 49-year-old black men.

“Further progress can be accelerated by applying existing cancer control knowledge across all segments of the population,” the authors write.

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