from the American Cancer Society (ACS) show declining death
rates among men in the United States due to lung, prostate and
colon cancer, the top three causes of cancer deaths in males,
with death rates for colon and breast cancer among women also
Deaths due to lung cancer among women, however, are on
statistics on cancer in the US are contained in the ACS report
"Cancer Facts and Figures 2004."
its report, the ACS estimated that 1,368,030 million people in
the US will be diagnosed with cancer this year.
It also projected deaths of around 563,700, a figure
that translates to roughly 1,500 people dying of cancer each
is next only to heart disease as the leading cause of death in
It accounts for about 25% of all deaths in the country.
statistics from the report suggest, however, that cancer can
be dealt with.
Advances in screening technology have made early
detection possible, while new treatment techniques have
contributed to a rise in the five-year relative survival rate
for all cancers taken together.
ACS put that rate 63%, which represents the proportion of
people still alive five years after being diagnosed with
cancer causes more deaths among both men and women than any
other type of cancer.
For men, however, the death rate has been dropping by
1.8% per year since 1991.
Death rates for women, however, have been increasing
steadily, such that more women have been dying from lung
cancer than from breast cancer since 1987.
87% of all lung cancer deaths are due to smoking. This makes
smoking the most significant risk factor in the occurrence of
lung cancer in the US. Smoking also accounts for 30% of all
cancer deaths. In its report, the ACS projected 180,000 deaths
due to tobacco use in the United States in 2004.
choices also have a bearing on death rates from cancer.
ACS pointed out that nearly a third of all cancer deaths that
occur each year in the US may be traced to physical
inactivity, obesity, and nutritional factors.
ACS thus recommended a number of lifestyle choices, including
maintaining a healthy weight throughout life, adopting a
physically active lifestyle, limiting alcohol consumption to
two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women, and
eating healthy foods, particularly those from plant sources;
in mortality rates, meanwhile, continue among the various
racial and ethnic groups that make up the US population, with
African-Americans having the highest death rate from
malignancies of the prostate, lung, colon, female breast, and
African Americans also have the highest date rate among
all racial and ethnic groups from all cancer sites combined.
ACS report cited the death rate from cancer among African
American men as running 1.4 times higher than the rate for
The disparity is slightly lower for women, with African
American women having a death rate from cancer 1.2 times
higher than that of white women.