Some Cancers Climb as Deaths Drop Overall

No improvement in young adults' mortality rates
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2012 4:23 PM CST
Some Cancers Climb as Deaths Drop Overall
Death rates from cancer are down.   (Shutterstock)

Cancer death rates are down overall, the American Cancer Society says, falling 1.8% among men and 1.6% among women between 2004 and 2008. Rates have dropped across all ethnic groups except American Indians and Alaskan natives, the Los Angeles Times notes. But the incidence of some types of the disease is climbing, and the Wall Street Journal has details: Cancers of the oropharynx—around the back of the throat—tied to human papillomavirus are climbing, though oropharyngeal cancers unrelated to HPV are dropping, perhaps thanks to declining smoking rates.

Esophageal adenocarcinoma is rising in white and Hispanic men, and pancreatic, liver, and kidney cancer are all up, with a possible link to obesity. The most dangerous skin cancer, melanoma, is rising in women of all ages and older white males, while thyroid cancer is increasing in all ethnic groups apart from American Indian and Alaska native men. Meanwhile, cancer mortality rates among young adults 15-39 haven't gotten any better, CBS News notes. "Young adults don't get cancers that are easily screened," says a survivor. (More cancer stories.)

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