The National Cancer Institute said on Thursday that the number of people dying with cancer is steadily dropping even though the number of people diagnosed with the disease was the same. The report said that screening tests were responsible for the spurt in catching cancer early and hence giving the victims a decent chance of survival.
"The overall message of the report remains positive. The evidence that I have seen convinces me that we are poised to make dramatic gains against cancer in the near future," NCI Director Andrew C. von Eschenbach said. The report found 488.1 cancer cases per 100,000 Americans in 2002 and that rate has remained unchanged. But the number of death from cancer is pegged at 193.6 per 100,000 Americans. This is down from 195.7 per 100,000 reported in the previous year.
The death rates for four of the most common cancers were as follows:
* Prostate cancer 28.0 deaths per 100,000, down from 28.9 per 100,000
* Breast cancer 25.4 deaths per 100,000 down from 26.0
* Colorectal cancer 19.6 deaths per 100,0 00 down from 20.1.
* Lung cancer 54.8 deaths per 100,000 down from 55.2.
The report also notes that death from lung cancer was rising in women although it was less that the previous years.