A new study has revealed that the number of cancer deaths has declined steadily in the last three decades.
The study claimed that although younger people have experienced the steepest declines, all age groups have shown some improvement.
"Our efforts against cancer, including prevention, early detection and better treatment, have resulted in profound gains, but these gains are often unappreciated by the public due to the way the data are usually reported," said Dr. Eric Kort at Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Cancer mortality rates are usually reported as composite age-adjusted rates, which have been declining modestly since the 1990's.
However, these statistics heavily emphasize the experience of the oldest Americans for whom mortality rates are the highest, which in turn conceals trends emerging in younger Americans.
Thus, as an alternative to age-adjustment, the researchers examined cancer mortality rates stratified by age, and found that for individuals born since 1925, every age group had experienced a decline in cancer mortality.
The youngest age groups have experienced the steepest decline at 25.9 percent per decade, but even the oldest groups have experienced a 6.8 percent per decade decline.
"This study focuses on an aspect that has been overlooked in determining whether we've had a significant impact on cancer mortality," said Dr. George Vande Woude.
The study has been published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.