A study released Wednesday reports that cancer rates in the U.S. have continued to decline. Since 1999, new cancer cases have been dropping by half a percent each year. Overall, the cancer death rate has declined by 1.5 percent in adults and 1.7 percent in children annually. The findings include almost every cancer case reported in the U.S. through 2008 and come from a report generated by several government agencies and other organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Officials have attributed the reduced cancer rates to better screening, advances in treatment and a focus on prevention and healthy lifestyle.
The investigators found a mix of promising and alarming news—cancer death rates for lung, prostate and breast cancer have continued to decline, but new skin cancer cases are on the rise. An additional concern for investigators is the high obesity rate—two in three adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese.