Cancer deaths decline for second straight year, report finds

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The number of people who died from cancer decreased by about 3,000 from 2003 to 2004, according to a report from the American Cancer Society. It is the second consecutive decline in annual cancer deaths, indicating a possible trend.

The largest decline in death was seen in colorectal cancer. Significant decreases also occurred for breast and prostate cancer, two other common types. But deaths from lung cancer, the most common cause of cancer death among both men and women, declined among men but increased among women.

Racial disparities still exist regarding rate and deaths, the report said. Black women had a 9% lower cancer rate than white women but an 18% higher death rate. Black men had a 15% higher cancer rate and a 38% higher death rate than white men.

(Published on 1-19-07)