Here’s the good news about cancer in America: More people than ever are surviving it. The cancer death rate has dropped by nearly 25 percent since its peak in 1991, thanks in part to declines in smoking, advances in prevention and detection and improved treatments.
And yet, as new statistics released Thursday by the American Cancer Society show, cancer remains a complex, confounding and pervasive problem throughout the United States. Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the nation, responsible for nearly 600,000 deaths each year, but cancer comes in a close second. In nearly two dozen states, significant drops in death from heart disease have made cancer the top killer.
Cancer also is the primary cause of death among adults ages 40 to 79. And while researchers and doctors have made significant leaps in the survival rates of certain cancers — deaths from prostate and colorectal cancers have dropped by half over time, for example — other cancers, such as those in the pancreas and brain, remain stubbornly difficult to detect and treat.
The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 1.7 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed in the United States in 2016, and that more than 595,000 Americans will die from some form of the disease. The following charts, based on Thursday’s data, detail which kinds of cancer are likely to take the heaviest toll and where cases will occur in the largest numbers.
(Click here to read the full article, written by Brady Dennis, Washington Post)