Cancer: Annual Report to the Nation

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Story Updated: Dec 18, 2013

The news is also good for breast, colon and prostate cancers.

Fewer Americans are dying of cancer. That's just one headline out of The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of cancer.

The report put together by the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries- covers 1975 Ð 2010- and the news is mostly good.

The highlight...lung cancer rates are declining at a faster pace, even among women. The key reason is that many decided to quit smoking two decades ago...and death rates are reflecting that lifestyle change now.

Other good news is that colon, breast, and prostate cancers are also killing fewer. In fact, the decreases in deaths from these four cancers account for more than two-thirds of the overall reduction in cancer deaths since 2001.

Sadly, there have been increases in deaths for liver and pancreatic cancer in men and women. Uterine cancer is also up in women. And in men, melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, is a increasing problem.

One final point these national groups make...cancer survival chances are better if cancer is the only thing a patient is fighting. Adding a chronic illness, like diabetes or heart disease complicates matters.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news that matters to you.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com