While the cancer death rate in the United States has dropped 25 percent since its peak in 1991, causing two million fewer deaths, the rate remains much higher for men than women, according to a new report by the American Cancer Society. The cancer rate for men is about 20 percent higher than for women, and the death rate is even higher — about 40 percent more men than women succumb to the disease. The difference in deadliness can be in part attributed to the kinds of cancers that men and women develop: Liver cancer, which is incredibly lethal, is about three times more common in men, for example.
However, the continued drop in cancer death rates is good news for both genders — and can largely be attributed to reductions in smoking and improvements in the early detection and treatment of cancer. “The continuing drops in the cancer death rate are a powerful sign of the potential we have to reduce cancer’s deadly toll,” Otis Brawley, the cancer society’s chief medical officer, said in a statement. “Continuing that success will require more clinical and basic research to improve early detection and treatment, as well as creative new strategies to increase healthy behaviors nationwide.”
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