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Fewer Americans are losing their lives to cancer, according to the latest data from the National ­Center for Health Statistics. A recent analysis, published in the American Cancer Society’s CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, offers these highlights.


Decrease in U.S. cancer deaths from 1991 to 2020, a “truly formidable” change, American Cancer Society CEO Karen Knudsen tells CNN. This amounts to an estimated 3.8 million deaths averted.

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“New revelations for prevention, for early detection, and for treatment have resulted in true, meaningful gains in many of the 200 diseases that we call cancer.”

— Karen Knudsen, American Cancer Society CEO

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Projected number of new cancer cases in the United States in 2023. Still, the five-year relative survival rate for all cancers combined has increased from 49 percent for diagnoses in the mid-1970s to 68 percent for diagnoses from 2012 to 2018.

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Higher risk of fatal cancers among Black people com­pared with white people as of 2020. “Racial disparities are largely a consequence of less access to high-quality care across the cancer continuum,” the report authors note. The Black–white disparity in cancer mortality has declined from a peak of 33 percent in 1993.

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Michael Dregni

Michael Dregni is an Experience Life deputy editor.

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