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Breast Cancer Death Rate Is Falling

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Breast cancer death rates have dropped by 39 percent between 1989 and 2015, according to a new report from the American Cancer Society. This translates to 322,600 averted breast cancer deaths in these years in the United States. The study has attributed the declines in breast cancer mortality rates to early detection by mammography as well as improvements in treatment.

Yet, breast cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer among U.S. women, with approximately 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer expected in 2017. Around 40,610 women are expected to die due to breast cancer this year. As per the study, a woman living in the United States has a 12.4%, or a 1 in 8, lifetime risk of being diagnosed with the disease.

The study also found that overall breast cancer death rates increased by 0.4% per year from 1975 to 1989 but since have decreased rapidly, for a total decline of 39% through 2015.

Eighty-one percent of breast cancers are diagnosed among women ages 50 years and older, and 89% of breast cancer deaths occur in this age group.

The study also found that between 2006 and 2015, breast cancer death rates decreased across racial and ethnic groups, including American Indian/Alaska Natives.

However, non-Hispanic black women continued to have around 39 percent higher breast cancer death rates than white women. Notably, breast cancer death rates were not significantly different in black and white women in 7 states.

Lead study author Carol DeSantis, director of breast and gynecological cancer surveillance research for the cancer society, reportedly told, "This means that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Some states are showing that they can close the gap."

by RTT Staff Writer

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