Declining Cancer Death Rates in Perspective


A piece of good news surfaced recently: the death rate from cancer in the United States has declined 27 percent since its peak in 1991. The data, published in the American Cancer Society’s journal, also show the difference in cancer death rates between black and white Americans has narrowed.

In a new To the Point post, the Commonwealth Fund’s Shanoor Seervai and David Blumenthal, M.D., observe that while this progress is cause for hope, it must be taken in context with other cancer-related findings and other public health data. Rates of new liver cancers are rising faster than any other cancer; socioeconomic disparities in cancer are increasing; and U.S. life expectancy has declined for three consecutive years.

“Even as overall cancer death rates fall,” the authors write, “public health crises like obesity and the opioid epidemic highlight the need for the U.S. health system to account for social factors that influence health.”

Cancer survivor holds her daughter_1x1 Read the post Declining Cancer Death Rates in Perspective