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Many Cancer Types Are Now Treatable

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter

Death rates for some of the most common cancers are on the decline, according to a recent study by top government health agencies.

The American Cancer Society (ACS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) team up annually to collect and analyze data on cancer incidences and mortality patterns in the U.S. The most recent study analyzes national data from 2000 to 2014.

Overall death rates from cancer from 2010-2014 have fallen by 1.8 percent per year for men and 1.4 percent per year for women. Death rates for 11 of the 16 most common cancer types in men and 13 of the 18 most common cancer types(including breast) in women are the decline.

There are still a few types of cancer that evade the progress made by researchers and medical professionals. Death rates continue to rise for the following cancers: liver (men and women), pancreas (men), brain (men) and uterine cancers.

The research comes on the heels of a March study out of Princeton University showing that, for the first time in recent memory, white middle-aged Americans are dying at a faster rate than black Americans. (RELATED: First Time In History, Mortality Rates Among Middle-Aged Whites Outpaces Black Americans)

Mortality rates for white non-Hispanic persons with a high school education or less now surpass those of blacks overall, the professors found. In fact, death rates are 30 percent higher for white Americans aged 50 to 54 than for blacks overall in that same age range.

The main causes of the spike in death rates among white Americans are what the authors call “deaths of despair,” stemming from drug and alcohol abuse, suicide, and a slowdown in progress made against heart disease and cancer–two of the largest killers in the U.S.

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