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The cancer fatality rate in the USA fell 2.2 percent from 2016 to 2017– the largest single-year decrease in cancer rate mortality ever reported, The American Cancer Society reported on Wednesday. Starting from 1991 the rate has gone down 29 percent, which equates to about 2.9 million fewer cancer fatalities than would certainly have occurred if the mortality rate had actually remained constant.

“Each year that we see a decline in cancer cells mortality price, it’s excellent news,” said Rebecca Siegel, director of surveillance study at the American Cancer Culture and also the lead author of the organization’s report, which was released online in CA: A Cancer Cells Journal for Clinicians.

Experts associated the decline to reduced smoking rates as well as advancements in lung cancer treatment. New therapies for cancer malignancy of the skin have likewise aided in extending life for people with metastatic disease, or cancer cells that have spread to other parts of the body.

Progression in treatment has actually slowed down for colon, breast as well as prostate cancer cells, unfortunately.

The rising rate of weight problems amongst Americans, along with considerable racial as well as geographic differences, most likely indicates why the decrease in breast and colon cancer has actually begun to lessen, and also why the decline in cases of prostate cancer has halted completely.

Cancer remains the 2nd leading cause of death after heart problems in both males and females nationwide. The American Cancer Society anticipates that in 2020 there will be about 1,806,590 brand-new cancer cases as well as 606,520 cancer fatalities. Lung cancer kills more people than breast, prostate, colon and brain cancers combined.

“We are still managing the effects of cigarette smoking from the 1960s and 70s in today’s population,” stated Dr. Otis Brawley, an oncologist at Johns Hopkins College as well as a previous chief clinical officer at the American Cancer Society. Due to the fact that there is a lag in between exposure as well as cancer medical diagnosis, people that stopped smoking cigarettes might establish lung cancer cells years later. However these rates should continue to decrease, Dr. Brawley claimed.

Thanks to advancements in technology there have been numerous vital advances in diagnosing as well as treating lung cancer resulting in significantly fewer cancer fatalities. New imaging innovations have permitted doctors to accurately examine the stage of the cancer and its prognosis. Less invasive surgical approaches have accelerated recovery times. Since 2015 immunotherapy has assisted some patients by using their own T cells to kill their tumors.

Similar treatment advancements have actually entirely reversed fads in cancer malignancy. In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration approved two new treatments, ipilimumab as well as vemurafenib, for metastatic cancer malignancy. Ultimately, the melanoma mortality rate began decreasing by 7 percent annually amongst males and females aged 20 to 64, and also by 5 to 6 percent annually in individuals 65 and older.

“That was the largest decline in cancer cells mortality that we saw,” Ms. Siegel said. “And also what made it so significant is that for individuals 65 and older, melanoma mortality rates were actually climbing in the 2000s.”

However as more Americans packed on excess extra pounds, the increase of obesity-related cancers has risen. These include malignancies of the liver, kidneys, pancreas and also womb, cancers of the breast and postmenopausal women, and also colon and also anal cancers in adults younger than 55.

“What we’re seeing with excessive weight is really sort of parallel to what we saw with cigarette smoking,” said Timothy Rebbeck, an epidemiologist at Harvard and also the Dana-Farber Cancer Cells Institute.

Studies have actually discovered that obesity, unhealthy diets and also an absence of physical activity are associated with metabolic as well as hormone problems and with chronic inflammation, which might help attribute the link to cancer. Controlling these factors can aid jump-start declines in cancer incidence as well as mortality rates once again, Dr. Rebbeck stated.

However, not all the population benefits from prevention and advancements in cancer therapy. Although racial differences in cancer treatment are narrowing, The American Cancer Society reported that black males were still two times as most likely to pass away of cancer as Asian/Pacific Islander men as well as 20 percent more likely to die than white men.

Men and women residing in particular states are additionally more likely to contract as well as succumb to possibly avoidable cancers, such as lung cancer, cervical cancer, and cancer malignancy. The reason lies in historical distinctions in smoking prevalence, obesity, other cancer risk variables and the ability to afford and access high-quality cancer treatment, Ms. Siegel said.

The incidence of cervical cancer is much greater in Arkansas than in Vermont or New Hampshire. As some states embrace inoculations against human papillomavirus more frequently than others, the distinction in prices of HPV-linked cervical cancer could become more noticeable.

“Making sure equal access to recognized cancer prevention and very early detection approaches would go far to speed up the progression of agaisnt cancer overall,” Ms. Siegel said.

Cancer Risk Linked to Highly Processed Foods

Doctors have long advised patients to eat whole grains along with fresh fruits and vegetables as a means to help reduce the risk of cancer. Obesity also causes an increased risk of cancer, and foods that have been highly processed tend to have a lot of calories with little nutritional value. A recent study conducted by researchers located in France and Brazil found that highly processed foods have an increased risk of cancer in addition to being bad from a nutritional standpoint.

The researchers looked at food that was “ultra-processed”, which simply means that it has been heavily processed. They found that a 10% increase in the amount of these ultra-processed foods in the diet would cause a risk of greater than 10% when it came to overall cancer and breast cancer. The research was an ongoing survey of more than 100,000 adults in France. After five years, they found that there were 2,200 cases of cancer within this group.

The researchers said that the study does not definitively prove that the highly processed foods were the cause of the cancer, as many who eat unhealthily also have other dangerous habits, such as smoking, that could increase the risk. They did say that the ultra-processed foods did tend to have higher fat content, saturated fat, added salt and sugar, and a lower amount of fiber and vitamin density. The processing can also create carcinogenic compounds.

Cancer Survivors with a Healthy Lifestyle Live Longer

NBC News reported that cancer patients who followed the American Cancer Society guidelines for a healthy lifestyle were 42 percent less likely to die than cancer patients who did not follow the guidelines. A University of California, San Francisco study found that cancer survivors who maintain “a health body weight, engage in regular physical activity, and eat a diet rich in vegetables and whole grains and low in red meats and processed meats did better and survived longer than those who didn’t.” The study followed and collected data about the diet, weight and exercise of 992 stage 3 colon cancer patients. They began following the patients two months after surgery and they collected data on them for a total of 7 years.

While the research was conducted on colon cancer patients the researchers have stated that the results most likely apply to all cancer survivors. Before the study, only 10 percent of the patients were following the healthy lifestyle guidelines. Out of the patients who did not follow the American Cancer Society guidelines, 35 percent died within the 7 years. Only 10 percent of patients adhering to the guidelines died within the 7-year study. It was also found that patients who ate two servings of tree nuts a week, were far less likely to die within the 7 years of the study.


Most Cancer Mutations Are Caused by Random DNA Copying Errors

The Washington Post reports that a new study reveals that “more than two-thirds of cancer causing mutations are the result of random mistakes in DNA replication that occur when normal cells divide.” Humans have more than a trillion cells, which are constantly regenerating to create new cells. The scientists said that each time a cell regenerates, an average of three mistakes occur. Most mistakes will be fine, but some of these mistakes affect genes that will promote cancer.

Due to earlier studies the Hopkins researchers published stating that 40% of cancers can be prevented, they wanted to stress the “bad luck” factor with this study. While maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help to prevent cancer, it is important to remember that a large percentage of cancer mutations will occur regardless of a healthy lifestyle.

Another report from the Los Angeles Times says that investigators found that only 5% of cancer-causing mutations are inherited genetically. The same researchers reported that 29% are linked to environmental factors, such as applying sunscreen and getting vaccinations and the remaining 66% are caused by random errors in DNA transcription.


Study: Nearly a Third of All American Cancer Deaths Are Linked to Smoking

There are still 40 million smokers in the U.S., according to researchers from the American Cancer Society. This comes despite the fact that a third of all cancer deaths in the U.S. can be linked back to smoking, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

A third of all cancer deaths in men, and a quarter in women can be linked to cigarette smoking, according to the study. This amounts to 167,000 cancer deaths in the U.S. in 2014 (the year of the study) that can be linked to cigarette smoking.

The study examined cancer deaths state by state. The 10 states with the highest rates of smoking linked back to cancer are in the south, while the lowest rates are in the north or the west.

Research found that the cigarette linked cancer death rate was highest among black men at 35 percent. Among white men it was 30 percent, and 27 percent among Hispanics.

Among women, the highest rate was whites at 21 percent, black women at 19 percent, and 12 percent for Hispanics. The study found widespread shortcomings among the states’ efforts to reduce smoking. CBS, the Los Angeles Times, the AP, and TIME all reported on the study.

It has long been thought that environmental influences and lifestyle choices were risk factors for cancer incidence.  The Los Angeles Times (12/17, Healy) reports on a research study released this past month that confirms such a premise.  The study, published in Nature, indicates that a large majority of cancers are caused by extrinsic factors.  These are external factors such as cigarette smoking, obesity, ultraviolet radiation, and viruses.

This recent study seems to be at odds with controversial research released by a team at John’s Hopkins in January 2015.  That study seemed to indicate that most incidents of cancer were nothing more than bad luck.  As reported by STAT (12/17, Begley), researchers at Hopkins concentrated on intrinsic factors, concluding that two-thirds of cancers are due to cell division errors.

While the two studies seem to come to opposite conclusions, many believe that they both have merit.  In fact, it is possible that external elements can contribute to intrinsic risk factors, such as cell division.   According to a San Diego Union-Tribune (12/17, Fikes) report, the authors of the studies continue to debate their findings on the origins of certain cancers.   It is the opinion of most experts that both intrinsic and external factors play a role in cancer incidence.  Therefore, those patients who control their environmental factors will have a much more positive outcome overall.

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Steven J. Lipsky MD, FACEP has been a Board Certified Emergency Physician in Arizona for the last 37 years, and a resident of the Town of Paradise Valley for the last 37 years. Steve Lipsky on Google Plus[/author_info] [/author]

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