Study: Good news on the cancer front

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Cancer death rates are dropping faster than ever, according to a new report. Scientists presenting the annual "Report to the Nation" on cancer say the turning point came in 2002.

Between 2002 and 2004, death rates dropped by an average of 2.1 percent a year. Between 1993 and 2001, death rates dropped on average 1.1 percent a year.

One reason is that colorectal cancer is striking fewer people. New diagnoses are down roughly 2.5 percent a year for both men and women, thanks to screening tests that can spot precancerous polyps in time to remove them. And new treatments are credited with doubling survival times for the most advanced colon cancer patients.

The annual report is work of the American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.

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