NEW YORK The cancer death rate in the U.S. fell by the most on record as advances in treatments for lung tumors like video-assisted surgery helped prolong the lives of patients.
The mortality rate from cancer has been gradually declining for 26 years, thanks in large part to fewer people smoking cigarettes. But from 2016 to 2017, the most recent period available, it dropped by 2.2%, the most ever in a single year, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Cancer Society. That compares with an average 1.5% yearly decline over the decade.
The drop translates to roughly 2.9 million fewer cancer deaths than would have occurred had mortality rates remained at their peak. For lung cancer specifically, the mortality rate declined 4.3% annually from 2013 to 2017.
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