As Cancer Death Rates Fall, Advances in Lung Cancer Treatment Play Major Role

From 1991 to 2017, overall cancer deaths dropped by 29%

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Cancer death rates have declined steadily over the past several decades, falling by nearly a third since the early 1990s, according to a report published Wednesday by the American Cancer Society.

From 1991 to 2017, overall cancer deaths dropped by 29%, estimated at nearly 3 million avoided deaths, NBC News reported.

Declines in mortality for four major cancers — breast, colon, lung and prostate — contributed largely to the decades-long drop, with improved lung cancer survival playing a particularly significant role, according to the society's annual look at cancer death rates, published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Deaths from lung cancer dropped by 51% among men since the early 1990s and by 26% among women since the early 2000s.

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