Good news in the fight against cancer. New research suggests that cancer cases and deaths are declining.

According to the “Cancer Statistics, 2011,” published in the American Cancer Society’s journal “CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians,” men saw a 22% decline and women saw a 14% decrease in cancer deaths from 1990 to 2007, the last year data was reported.

The American Cancer Society reports:

“The nearly 900,000 cancer deaths avoided over a 17-year period stand in stark contrast to the repeated claim that cancer death rates have not budged,” said John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society and its advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “Nonetheless, we refuse to be satisfied, and are committed to doing whatever it takes, not only to ensure cancer death rates continue to drop, but to accelerate the decline.”

Despite the drop in cancer rates, researchers found less educated individuals are dying at higher rates then their more educated counterparts.

The report asserts:

“Researchers estimate that 37% of premature cancer deaths (more than 60,000) could potentially have been avoided, if all Americans ages 25 to 64 in the U.S. in 2007 had the same cancer death rate as the most educated segment of the population.”

Although declines cancer rates are promising, the disparities between those with varying levels of education give many researchers pause. Doctors say access to quality health care, lack of transportation to health facilities, cost, and literacy barriers keep many from winning the fight against cancer.

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  • I wonder if stress has any correlation to it… A person with a lower education level may have less income, may live in a poorer neighborhood where their children don’t have access to the best, they may have to work more hours to provide, they may be worried about their job. Everything that their more-educated counterparts may not have to worry about. (These are just my own assumptions, not based on any scientific facts, papers, or anything of the sort)

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to disregard the factors listed above, such as access to facilities, cost, and health care. But stress is known to affect cancer and recovery.

    Just an additional thought.