It used to be that the word “cancer” meant a slow decline. With medical advancements, new medications, and less invasive treatments, times have changed. It’s World Cancer Day February 4, 2020. Read these promising statistics to see just how much has changed over the decades.
Cancer Death Rates Have Dropped
Between 1999 and 2016, deaths from cancer have declined. The decline has been almost 2 percent per year for men and women and just over 1 percent for children. This decline covers all forms of cancer. Some types of cancer have seen bigger declines than others. Melanoma (skin cancer), lung cancer, Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and leukemia have seen the biggest declines.
If you look at the 5-year survival rates between the 1960’s and today, it says a lot. The survival rates in the 1960’s were around 33 percent. In 2019, that percentage increased to 66.5 percent. The chance of surviving five years after a diagnosis has doubled.
The Rates of New Cases Has Also Declined
The number of people being diagnosed with cancer has also decreased by around 2 percent for men. Women have remained level. Early diagnosis, when cancer is present, offers the best odds in successful treatment plans.
Statins Might Help Fight Certain Types of Cancer
The American Heart Association has been closely looking at medications used to lower cholesterol levels. One study taking a closer look at statins and cancer was done at Duke University School of Medicine. Doctors and researchers finds looked specifically at colorectal cancer.
The research found was that colorectal patients who also took statins had increased survival rates. Similar findings were discovered with breast, kidney, and lung cancer. Prostate cancer cases also declined among the men taking statins.
Research is ongoing to see if there is a definitive link. It does, however, provide hope for a potential treatment option.
Three Things Seem to Be Key to Prevention
The American Cancer Society found that almost half of all new cancer cases could have been prevented through three lifestyle changes. The first is to stop smoking. Losing weight is second because weight loss usually involves a diet lower in processed foods, fats, and sugars. The third tip is to exercise regularly. Physical activity is important for keeping the body healthy.
Keep your parents motivated to eat well, exercise regularly, and see their doctor for screenings that check for cancer. This includes pap smears, breast exams/mammograms, colorectal cancer screenings, and prostate checks. Home health care providers can help your parents arrange these doctor visits and drive your parents there. If anything is found, home health care providers are available to help out while your parent goes through treatments and recovers.