Monday, April 4. 2011
Lung cancer death rates among women have declined for the first time in more than 40 years, more than a decade after a similar drop occurred in U.S. men, according to the Annual Report to the Nation on the State of Cancer.
The report, compiled by multiple organizations, including the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute, found that lung cancer deaths among women fell 1 percent each year between 2003 and 2007. While a small percentage, experts say it's a far cry from the 1970s, when lung cancer death rates in females were rising at a rate of 6 percent each year.
"This is good news. We've been waiting to see this decrease," said Dr.Ahmedin Jemal, the vice president of surveillance research for the American Cancer Society.
While the report said death rates for the other three major cancers - breast, colon and prostate - are also decreasing, fatalities from liver and pancreatic cancers are on the rise among both men and women.
Smoking cigarettes is the major cause of lung cancer, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is the top cancer-killer in the nation. Smoking automatically raises health insurance rates, as it can lead to other potentially fatal ailments such as heart disease and stroke.
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