Tuesday, June 18 2013, 07:59 AM MDT
Cancer Deaths Decreasing
(KUTV) New numbers show the overall cancer death rate has dropped significantly in the last few decades, but the American Cancer Society says some cancers are still on the rise.
Cindy Slabicki underwent a lumpectomy and radiation after doctors discovered cancer in her breast last fall. The 60-year-old was concerned, but took it in stride.
I know so many women who have had breast cancer and fortunately the ones I do know came out of it okay, so I think I kind of had that in my mind, Cindy said.
A new report from the American Cancer Society finds the overall death rate from cancer has gone down 20% from its peak in 1991.
The drop is even greater for the big four---breast, lung, colorectum and prostate cancer.
Fewer Americans are smoking. After that, its improvements in early detection of cancer and improvements in treatments of cancer, Dr. Otis W. Brawley with the American Cancer Society said.
The report expects more than one-million new cancer cases this year and more than half a million cancer deaths.
And death rates are still rising for some cancers, including melanoma.
46-year-old Lisa Moffitt had a malignant mole removed from her back nearly three years ago. Like many melanoma patients, she didnt protect her skin from the sun.
Every year I would get a serious sunburn and then I would tan and I thought that was nice, Lisa said.
Her doctor says early detection is key.
If you see a spot thats new, a spot thats changing, getting bigger, getting darker, it needs to be addressed, Dr. Sharon Scherl, the chief of dermatology at Engelwood Hospital, said.
Moffitt now wears sunscreen and hopes her cancer doesnt come back.
Some of the other cancers still increasing are cancer of the liver, thyroid and pancreas.
The American Cancer Society says if the trends from 1991 continued, 1.2-million more Americans would have died from cancer.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)