U.S. Cancer Rates Declining: How to Help Keep the Momentum Going

America’s war on cancer is paying off with an overall decline in incidence and mortality rates reported in the “Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer.” The yearly undertaking is a joint effort between the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. Those agencies report that the mortality rate for all cancers dropped by 1.5 percent a year between 2003 and 2012. During that same time period, the overall new diagnosis rate also fell for men, but did stay stable for women.

The numbers show that America is making progress in its battle to beat cancer. Much work, however, remains to be done if this disease is ever going to be eradicated. People who want to help nudge the numbers in the right direction are urged to take these steps:

  • Adopt healthy lifestyle habits – Eating right, exercising, limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding tobacco use entirely can all help lower personal cancer risks dramatically.
  • Maintain a healthy weight – Obesity is strongly connected to a number of potentially fatal forms of cancer in addition to other life-limiting diseases. Losing weight and keeping it off can lower cancer risks.
  • Go in for screenings – Routine screenings to detect cancer early can help people beat this disease if it does present. To find out what screenings are recommended, it’s best to speak with a healthcare provider. Screening recommendations may vary based on age, sex, the type of cancer that is a concern and other particular risk factors.

Cancer is losing ground in the United States, but the war is far from over. Those who want to do their part to avoid this disease will find there are many steps that can make a different. Speak to a healthcare provider to determine personal risks and measures that may help lower them.

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