Cancer Death Rate Dropped 20% Over Last 20 Years: Report

01/07/2014 11:26 am ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

Fewer people are dying from cancer, according to a new report from the American Cancer Society.

Over the last 20 years, cancer death rates have dropped 20 percent, with middle-aged black men experiencing the greatest decrease during this time, at a 50 percent decrease in cancer death rate.

"The halving of the risk of cancer death among middle aged black men in just two decades is extraordinary, but it is immediately tempered by the knowledge that death rates are still higher among black men than white men for nearly every major cancer and for all cancers combined," noted John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., who is the chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society, in a statement.

Indeed, despite the decrease in cancer deaths among black men, this ethnic group still has the highest cancer death rate in the United States, while Asian Americans have the lowest cancer death rate.

The report, published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, also projects 1,665,540 new cases of cancer and 585,720 deaths from cancer in 2014, with prostate, colon and lung cancers accounting for around half of the new cases in men, and breast, colon and lung cancers accounting for around half of the new cases in women.

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