U.S. cancer rates still declining in men and women

Jan. 7, 2013 at 8:53 PM
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ATLANTA, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Cancer rates for U.S. men and women declined from 2000 to 2009, though some types, such as head and neck cancers, increased, researchers say.

The "Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2009" showed overall U.S. cancer death rates trended downward among both men and women, for all major racial and ethnic groups, and for all of the most common cancer sites, including lung, colon and rectum, female breast and prostate.

However, the report also showed death rates kept rising during the latest time period, 2000 through 2009, for melanoma of the skin -- among men only -- and for cancers of the liver, pancreas and uterus. The special feature section on human papillomavirus-associated cancers showed incidence rates were increasing for HPV-associated oropharyngeal and anal cancers.

The report also said HPV vaccination coverage levels during 2008 and 2010 remained low among U.S. adolescent girls. HPV vaccination can reduce the level of HPV-associated cancers.

The report was co-authored by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.

The decline in overall cancer death rates continues a trend that began in the early 1990s. From 2000 through 2009, cancer death rates decreased by 1.8 percent per year among men and by 1.4 percent per year among women. Death rates among children up to age 14 years also continued to decrease by 1.8 percent per year.

The findings were published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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