American Cancer Society report shows lung cancer deaths decline, boosting overall cancer survival despite persistent disparities and need for better screening.
The latest American Cancer Society report highlights a decline in lung cancer deaths, contributing to an overall drop in U.S. cancer mortality. Improved early detection, better access to care, and advancements in treatments have led to more lung cancer patients being diagnosed at a localized stage and experiencing longer survival times. Despite this progress, lung cancer remains the deadliest cancer, with smoking being a major contributing factor. Notably, there are still a significant number of lung cancer deaths unrelated to smoking, emphasizing the importance of continued efforts in combating the disease.
The report also presents broader cancer trends for 2022, estimating 1.9 million new cancer cases and over 609,000 deaths. The lifetime risk of cancer is significant, with rates standing at 40.2% for men and 38.5% for women. While the five-year survival rate for all cancers has improved significantly since the 1970s, the report identifies concerning trends, such as preventable cervical cancer deaths and an increase in advanced prostate cancer, which may be tied to reduced PSA testing. These findings stress the need for enhanced screening and vaccination efforts, especially among underserved populations.
Addressing disparities in cancer rates and improving prevention strategies are key focuses of the report. It notes rising breast cancer rates and persistent gaps in cancer outcomes based on race, socioeconomic status, and region. The report calls for equitable access to risk assessment and informed decision-making regarding early cancer detection tests. American Cancer Society CEO Karen Knudsen emphasizes the importance of data-driven prevention and the potential for reducing preventable cancer deaths through increased awareness and improved access to screening and treatment.