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Both incidence and death rates for all cancers are decreasing for men and women, according to the National Cancer Institute's Annual Report to the Nation. On average, incidence rates for all cancers dropped 0.8% per year from 1999 through 2005. The overall decreases are due in large part to declines in the three most common cancers among men (lung, colon/ rectum, and prostate) and the two most common cancers among women (breast and colon/rectum).


Death rates declined for 10 of the top 15 causes of cancer death among both men and women. But death rates continue to increase for certain cancers, including esophageal cancer for men, pancreatic cancer for women, and liver cancer for both. Overall cancer mortality was highest among African-Americans and lowest for Asian-American/Pacific Islanders.


Wide variations in lung cancer trends among women across states led researchers to conclude that many states need to strengthen their tobacco control programs. Read the full findings at the Journal of the National Cancer Institute's Web site at http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/djn389.


Source: Jemal A, Thun MJ, Ries LAG, et al. Annual report to the nation on the status of cancer, 1975-2005, featuring trends in lung cancer, tobacco use, and tobacco control. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2008;100(23):1672-1694.