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Cancer deaths down 33% since 1991

A woman wearing a head covering sits on a couch.

Feb. 2, 2023—The latest cancer statistics from the American Cancer Society (ACS) included some great news: Thanks to prevention, screenings and treatment advances, deaths from cancer have dropped 33% since their peak in 1991.

The ACS shares an update on the state of cancer each year. Here’s a look at some of the details—good news and bad—from their Cancer Facts & Figures 2023 report:

  • Among women ages 20 to 24, cervical cancer rates dropped a whopping 65% from 2012 to 2019. This was the first group of women to receive the HPV vaccine, which helps prevent cervical cancer as well as other types of cancer.
  • Liver cancer and melanoma rates declined in men younger than age 50.
  • Prostate cancer diagnoses increased 3% from 2014 to 2019—the first increase in 20 years. The upshot? Men should discuss their risk and prostate cancer screening with their doctors.
  • Rates of breast, endometrial and liver cancer increased among women.
  • Deaths from colon cancer disease dropped 57% from 1970 to 2020, thanks to early detection and improved treatment. But the cancer is on the rise among younger adults: In people under 50, rates have increased 1% to 2% per year since the 1990s.
  • After heart disease, cancer continues to be the second most common cause of death in the United States. A total of 1.9 million new cancer cases are expected in 2023.

Prevention matters

According to the ACS, at least 42% of new cancer cases in the U.S. are potentially avoidable. Discover six ways to reduce cancer risk with our interactive infographic.


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