A new report from the American Cancer Society says cancer death rates could fall more quickly – if more people had the resources they needed to adopt lifestyle behaviors that reduce risk. These behaviors include avoiding tobacco, staying at a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol, getting enough physical activity, and getting recommended screenings and vaccinations. The greatest areas for improvement are among lower socio-economic populations.
Every 2 years, researchers from the American Cancer Society analyze data for cancer risk factors and screening from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to strengthen cancer prevention and early detection efforts. This year the findings are published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention and in the report Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts & Figures 2019-2020.
Cancer death rates in the US have dropped 27% between 1991 and 2016. But 607,000 people are still expected to die of cancer in 2019, and about 45% of the deaths are linked with lifestyle behaviors that can be changed. Cigarette smoking alone accounts for about 29% of all cancer deaths.