MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The American Cancer Society predicts there will be more than 1. 6 million new cancer cases in 2015 in a new report.
It may be hard to believe, but the number of people who have passed away from cancer in recent years has decreased slowly in both men and women. In fact, ACS statistics show the death rate from cancer in the US has fallen 22 percent since the peak in 1991. The statistic translates to more than 1.5 million deaths from cancer that were avoided.
The American Cancer Society says the news is good, but the fight against cancer is more important than ever. Cancer was the second leading cause of death in America in recent years. And despite the decline, the ACS expects cancer to become the leading cause of death in the next few years.
Lung, colon, prostate and breast cancers continue to be the most common causes of cancer death. And each year, more people die from lung cancer than the others combined. "Lung cancer is the most preventable," says Lou Acerra. The American Cancer Society says At least 80 percent of lung cancer deaths are thought to result from smoking.
"People just think, you know, it's not going to happen to me," Acerra continues. "Or, oh I can always quit, it's not a big deal. Especially young people. Especially kids who are underage buying cigarettes. They all say I'll quit when I'm in my 20's, or I'll quit when I have kids. And it never happens."
Still, the number of Americans diagnosed with lung cancer has significantly decreased in recent decades. "Early detection is really important especially for things like prostate cancer," Acerra says.
The American Cancer Society agrees. In fact, it says it's thanks to early detection and treatments that prostate and colon cancer death rates are down by nearly half of what they were at their peak.
But in 2015, the American Cancer Society predicts prostate, lung and colon cancers will account for half of all cancer in men. "And you have a lot of men who just don't go to the doctor for whatever reason. And I think you need to get it checked out when it's time to get it checked out."
As for women, breast cancer numbers have decreased 35 percent from peak rates. But it alone is expected to account for 29 percent of all new cancers among women in the US in 2015.
And while the numbers have slowly improved, researchers say we need to fight cancer across the country. Men and women must be diligent when it comes to doctor visits to check for prostate, colon and breast cancer because early detection is one of the best ways to fight.
You can read the entire report from the ACS here: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/news/facts-figures-report-cancer-deaths-avoided-in-2-decades