May 10, 2011

According to a recent report, cancer death rates began to decline in the early 1990s and have continued to do so. Cancer death rates declined an average of 1.6% a year between 2003 and 2007, and the overall incidence rates of cancer have declined about 1%.

However, death rates for cancer among men increased for liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, and for melanoma. The incidence rates among men for liver cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, and for melanoma increased from 2003 to 2007.

Death rates for cancer among women increased for pancreatic cancer and liver cancer. The incidence rates among women for kidney cancer, thyroid cancer, pancreatic cancer, leukemia, and melanoma increased from 2003 to 2007. The death rate for uterine cancer fell between 1975 and 1997 but increased in the following years.

The good news for women: lung cancer death rates for women fell for the first time in four decades (lung cancer death rates for men began declining about 10 years earlier, which is explained by the fact that more women began smoking in the middle of the last century, which was later than for men).

For children, cancer death rates continued to decline since the 1970s but the incidence of cancer in children increased by about 0.6% per year between 1992 and 2007.

Black men and black women had the highest cancer death rates overall but they also had the largest declines in cancer death rates between 1998 and 2007. Black men had the highest overall incidence rates for new cancers. White women had the highest cancer incidence rates among all women.

With regard to brain tumors, nonmalignant brain tumors were about two times as common as malignant brain tumors in adults 20 and older. While brain tumors in children were much more rare than in adults, they were much more likely to be malignant (33.7% of brain tumors in adults were malignant versus 65.2% of brain tumors in children that were malignant).

The most common type of nonmalignant brain tumor was meningioma, which was 2.3 times more common in women than in men.

While there were decreases in the overall cancer death rates and the overall incidences of cancers in nearly all racial and ethnic groups, the incident of cancer in people age 65 and older is expected to increase due to the expected doubling of the 65 and older population between 2000 and 2030. Therefore, it is anticipated that while there will be  declining cancer incidence rates, the actual number of people diagnosed with cancer will increase due to population changes (people 65 and older are at a higher risk of many common types of cancer).

Misdiagnosis of cancer and late diagnosis of cancer are two common reasons for medical malpractice claims. If you have been the victim of a misdiagnosis or late diagnosis of cancer in your family, our website can connect you with medical malpractice lawyers in your local area who may be able to assist you with your claim. Our toll free number is 800-295-3959.