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Cancer deaths have fallen dramatically in recent decades — but the number of new cancer cases will rise steeply in the coming years, according to a progress report released Wednesday by the American Association for Cancer Research.

Here’s a look at the highlights:


  • Cancer deaths in the U.S. have fallen dramatically since 1991. The cancer death rate among children tumbled 35 percent between 1991 and 2014. The rate for adults fell 25 percent.
  • Cigarette consumption is plunging. Cigarette use among adults fell nearly 39 percent between 2000 and 2015, which the report says has helped to drive down lung cancer rates. An estimated 15 percent of U.S. adults still smoke cigarettes.
  • Cancer is expected to become more common. The number of new cancer cases is expected to jump from 1.7 million in 2017 to 2.3 million in 2030. Experts say that’s due in large part to the aging population. Other potential factors: high rates of obesity and physical inactivity, which have both been tied to some types of cancer.
  • New cancer therapies are cropping up quickly. The Food and Drug Administration approved nine new cancer treatments between Aug. 1, 2016 and July 31, 2017. The agency also expanded approvals of eight drugs already on the market so they can be used to treat additional types of cancer.
  • Cancer care takes a huge financial toll. In 2014, the direct medical costs of cancer care topped $87 billion in the U.S. alone.

The report calls on Congress to provide $36.2 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health in the next fiscal year, which starts next month. Lawmakers seem likely to come close — a bipartisan bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee would grant $36.1 billion in funding for the agency.

The bill defies President Trump’s request to cut the NIH budget down to $26.6 billion.

  • Yes, cancer is rising. In fact cancer is everywhere! Cancer is rising because oncovirus is entrenched in the human race. Since “the pill (especially) HPV, Epstein Barr and other members of the Herpes group have spread by sexual transmission. Veterans of foreign wars bring these viruses back to the US. The “free love” of the 60s and 70s, and the hook-up generation will soon enough see this behavior manifest itself in widespread afflictions of this dreadful disease. Medical research needs to work diligently to find a vaccine against the Herpes group. In addition, investigate all cancers with an open mind that the cancer may have an infectious organism as causative. One need only read the book, “Cancer Virus” by Dorothy Crawford and Alan Rickinson to get an idea just how pervasive oncovirus is, and how difficult it is to get medical science to accept the role of virus, and to stop blaming cancer on everthing else from the air we breath to the food we eat as causative when the real culprit is right under their noses.

  • I think it would be more appropriate to have a photo of an elderly couple instead of a bunch of cigarettes. It’s a quick and dirty excuse for people to say “i’m OK cause I don’t smoke”. BUT everyone dies. And cancer seems to be a disease of aging.

    • I do not think cancer is just a disease of the aging. Yes, many do get cancer in their older years. My sister has cancer. When I go with her for Chemo, the individuals there are younger than I would espect. 40-60s. And it seems I am hearing more in the 30-40 group. Very scary. Lots of research time and money is being spent on treatments -blockbuster drugs. What happened to prevention, looking for causes? No money in that! Medical science has known that HPV is causative for a number of cancers since the 1970s! It took over 40 years to do something about it!

  • I agree that the (growing?) lack of physical activity, obesity and aging population may be factors, but what about our declining nutritional practices. Obesity among younger people in particular is a direct result to too much sugar, starch, bad fats, etc. Our declining immune systems are a direct result of this same bad behavior as well. The processed food lobby would have it no other way! I’ll be anxious to see the report.

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