More Lives Being Saved: Cancer Death Rates Drop 20% (VIDEO)

Source: Dr. Otis Brawley / CNN

The death rate from cancer in the United States has dropped dramatically in the last two decades, according to a new report from the American Cancer Society.

American cancer death rates have risen consistently since the 1900s; they peaked in 1991 at 215.1 deaths per 100,000 in the population. The 2009 death rate, which just became available, is 173.1 per 100,000. That’s a 20% decline in cancer death rates from 1991.

The report also includes grim news. The ACS estimates 1.6 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer and more than 580,000 will die of cancer in 2013. As has been the case for decades, only cardiovascular disease will kill more Americans.

The report, released Thursday, compiles the most recent data on cancer incidence, mortality and survival. It is based on data gathered by the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.

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