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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