In good news for Americans' health, a new government study has found that the risk of dying from cancer in the U.S. is decreasing. Although the number of people dying from cancer is rising, this is due to the growth of the aging population in the country, as well as overall population growth. Meanwhile, any given person has a lower risk of developing deadly cancer than they have for decades.
"Because death rates for many cancers increase with age, the number of people who die from cancer is also predicted to grow, even while death rates decline," Mary White of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a news release.
The overall decrease in cancer death rates has been brought about by both medical advances and government initiatives intended to raise awareness of lifestyle factors. The government is currently carrying out the Healthy People 2020 initiative, with the goal of reducing rates of death from particular cancers by 10 to 15 percent by 2020. According to the CDC, this goal has already been met for prostate cancer.
The researchers emphasized that the risk of many cancers can be decreased even further by living a consciously healthy lifestyle and avoiding known causes of cancer. According to Dr. David Katz of Yale University, "30 to 60 percent of cancers could be prevented by avoiding tobacco, having a healthy diet, routine activity and weight control."
"While we have seen improvements to lower cancer deaths, everyone can learn about screening tests and the cancer prevention steps that are right for them," White said.
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