Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Overall, rates of diagnosis, and death, are falling.
“Each year that you see these steady declines it gives you more confidence that we’re moving in the right direction,” said Dr. John E. Niederhuber, director of the National Cancer Institute, who is not an author of the report. “This is not just a blip on the screen.”
Of course, much of the decline is related to a precipitous drop in lung cancer rates among men - see the chart on the right. Breast cancer rates too have fallen, now that women have stopped cancer-linked hormone replacement therapy. But in fact, the NYTimes article makes clear, many, many forms of cancer are on the rise.
Among men, incidence rates increased for cancers of the liver, kidney and esophagus, and for melanoma and myeloma. Among women, incidence rates increased for cancers of the lung, thyroid, pancreas, brain and nervous system, bladder and kidney, and for melanoma. Rates of leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma increased in both sexes.
Still, the bottom line stat is good news and more evidence that banning public smoking is the right thing to do.

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