US Cancer Incidence, Mortality Show Overall Decline

US Cancer Incidence, Mortality Show Overall Decline

WASHINGTON—Overall cancer incidence and mortality have continued to decline in the United States, but incidences of some cancers continue to rise, and significant differences in both incidence and mortality persist among different racial and ethnic groups.

Between 1990 and 1996, the national incidence rate declined an average of 0.9% per year, and mortality fell 0.6% per year, according to the “Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1973-1996.” The study was prepared by the American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Lung, prostate, breast, and colorectal cancer were the top four cancer incidence sites among the five populations studied—white, black, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and Asian/Pacific Islander. The same sites were the top four causes of cancer deaths in all groups, with one exception. Liver cancer replaced breast cancer in the mortality top four among Asians and Pacific Islanders.

Although breast cancer incidence has changed little during the 1990s, breast cancer mortality has declined about 2% per year. Colorectal cancer incidence and deaths continued to decline among both men and women. New cases and deaths have continued to rise for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, although less so in the 1990s than in the 1980s. And the incidence of melanoma continued to rise about 3% annually from 1990 to 1996, although mortality has remained constant.

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