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Yearly detailed report says cancer fatalities on drop

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A new report finds that the rate of people dying of cancer in the U.S. is continuing its downward pattern. Some say the result is a payoff for the nation's investment into medical science. Others stay hesitant. Article resource: 800 numbers to direct lenders that accept payment installments

Cancer not killing as many

The “Annual Report to the Country on the Status of Cancer” from the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society and other groups has been released. It found a slight decline in the death rates for most types of cancer, a pattern that has been continuing since the early 1990s. However, the number of incidents of cancers related to the human papillomavirus is on the increase.

The rate of cancer-related deaths fell among men and kids over the last decade, according to the ACS report. Cancer death rates among women have remained basically steady.

Not as many smokers

Some experts credit medical advancements in detection and treatment, as well as a falling smoking rate -- partially the result of public awareness anti-smoking pushes -- for the continued decline.

Dr. Otis Brawley of the American Cancer Society said, "The decrease in cancer mortality is driven largely by the decrease in cancer incidence, which is mostly because of the decrease in smoking. ... There has been clear progress.”

Continued problems

There is reason to battle even more on top of the "reason to cheer," according to Dr. John R. Seffrin of the American Cancer Society.

“The challenge we now face is how to continue those gains in the face of new obstacles, like obesity and HPV infections," said Seffrin. "We must face these hurdles head on, without distraction, and without delay, by expanding access to proven strategies to prevent and control cancer.”

HPV not dying down

In the last ten years, there has been a huge increase in the number of women with the vulva cancer. HPV related cancers have surge in men and women. There has been an increase of oropharyngeal and anal cancer. The report reinforces the need for children to get vaccinations for the human papillomavirus.

“This year’s report correctly and usefully emphasizes the importance of HPV infection as a cause of the growing number of cancers ... and the availability of vaccines against the major cancer-causing strains of HPV,” said Dr. Harold Varmus, director of the National Cancer Institute. “But ... vaccines against HPV will have the expected payoffs only if vaccination rates for girls and boys improve markedly.”

Less than half of the nation's girls between the ages of 13 and 17 received at least one of the three shots recommended to fend off HPV in 2010. Less than a third received all three shots.

Too little, too slow

The investment is not equating to enough change, according to the National Breast Cancer coalition president Fran Visco.

"We don't look at this as progress," she said. "This is such incremental improvement, when you look at the decades of investments, the cost of treatments, the number of researchers and journals, and then at the number of people who die ... well, we are clearly doing something wrong."



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