U.S. Cancer Death Rates Continue to Decline: Report But researchers added that people with other health problems have lower odds of survival

HealthDay Reporter: MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2013

Cancer death rates continue to decline in the United States, mainly because anti-smoking efforts have caused a drop in lung cancer deaths, researchers report.

From 2001 through 2010, death rates for all cancers combined decreased by 1.8 percent a year among men and by 1.4 percent a year among women, according to a joint report from four of the nation’s top cancer institutions, published Dec. 16 in the journalCancer.

“The four major cancers — lung, colorectal, breast and prostate — represent over two-thirds of the decline,” said study author Brenda Edwards, a senior advisor for cancer surveillance at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

The report also found that one-third of cancer patients over 65 have other health conditions that can lower their chances of survival. Diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure and cerebrovascular disease, which impedes blood flow to the brain, are the most common ailments that complicate cancer treatment and survival odds, the researchers said. Read more