American Cancer Society Report Assesses Progress against Goals Set for Nation

By David Sampson

Goals snapshot

A new report assesses how the nation fared against the ambitious challenge goal set by the American Cancer Society to reduce the cancer death rates by 50% over 25 years ending in 2015. The report finds areas where progress was substantial, and others where it was not. The report, appearing in the American Cancer Society journal, CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, says the best improvements were seen in cancers for which prevention, early detection, and treatment tools are available, including cancers of the lung, colon, breast, and prostate. How much more progress will be made going forward will depend on how well policy makers and the American public work together to continue progress in those areas, and in making the best available care accessible to all.

In 1996, the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society challenged the United States to reduce what looked to be peak cancer mortality in 1990 by 50% by the year 2015. The goals made clear that achieving that challenge goal would require a broad, multi-sectoral effort, not the effort of any single organization.

The current analysis, led by Tim Byers, MD, of the University of Colorado, examined trends in cancer mortality across the 25-year challenge period from 1990 to 2015*. The report found:

  • In 2015, the overall cancer death rate was 26% lower than in 1990 (32% lower among men and 22% lower among women).
  • Among men, mortality rates dropped for lung cancer by 45%, for colorectal cancer by 47%, and for prostate cancer by 53%.
  • Among women, mortality rates dropped for lung cancer by 8%, for colorectal cancer by 44%, and for breast cancer by 39%.
  • Declines in the death rates of all other cancer sites were substantially smaller (13% among men and 17% among women).
  • The major factors that accounted for the drops were …read more

    Source:: American Cancer Society