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Decline in U.S. Cancer Deaths

14 Aug 09

At a time when U.S. healthcare is being repeatedly lambasted for its failures in the midst of impending reform, a study that shows a decade-long decline in U.S. cancer deaths will no doubt bolster those who oppose President Obama's blueprint for change.

Reseachers say that improvements in cancer screening and enhanced treatments have resulted in an up to 25% drop in the rates of cancer deaths for those patients aged 35-45 - whilst substantial declines were noted across all other age groups. Figures from this most recent study fly in the face of existing government estimates on the issue, which suggested that only moderate improvements were seen in outcomes, with advances only beginning to occur during the latter stage of the 20th century.

Lead researcher, Eric Kort, whose study appears in the medical journal Cancer Research, said that by avoiding a 'composite rate' of fatalities - that includes the majority of deaths in older demographics - he was able to better analyse the true impact of improvements on the younger generation. "Everyone born since the 1930s has enjoyed a decreased risk of cancer death, at every age", he said, adding that "Essentially, the younger you are, the faster your rates are declining". Cancer still takes the lives of over 560,000 Americans every year.

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