Cancer death rates continue to go down!

Cancer death rates continue to go down

The cancer death rate in the US mostly went up during the 20th century. The rise was mainly due to the smoking epidemic.

The cancer death rate hit its peak in 1991, with 215 out of every 100,000 people dying from cancer. Since then, the cancer death rate has steadily gone down – dropping by a total of 31%.

The fastest decline so far was in the last two years. Each year set a record for the largest one-year drop in the cancer death rate – 2.2% from 2016 to 2017 and 2.4% from 2017 to 2018.

Declines in the cancer death rate since 1991 are mainly due to fewer people smoking, but also advances in early detection and treatment for some cancers.

But even with this drop in death rates, cancer is still the second most common cause of death in men and women in the US. Only heart disease kills more people than cancer.he death rate from cancer in the United States has continued to decline. From 1991 to 2018, the cancer death rate has fallen 31%. This includes a 2.4% decline from 2017 to 2018 – a new record for the largest one-year drop in the cancer death rate. These are just some of the findings from the annual statistics reported by the American Cancer Society (ACS).

In Cancer Statistics, 2021 and its consumer-friendly companion, Cancer Facts & Figures 2021, ACS researchers estimate that in the US in 2021, almost 1.9 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed. And more than 600,000 people will die from cancer.

These numbers do not account for the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has likely had on cancer diagnoses and deaths because they are projections based on reported cases and deaths through 2017 and 2018, respectively. More details about COVID-19 and its impact on cancer is available in the Cancer Facts & Figures report’s  Special Section: COVID-19 and Cancer.

Each year, ACS reports on the most recent facts about cancer in the US. They estimate numbers of new cancer diagnoses and deaths for the current year. These estimates are some of the most widely quoted cancer statistics in the world.


The full article, Cancer Statistics, 2021 was published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. The findings are also available in a companion report, Cancer Facts and Figures 2021, and available at the interactive Cancer Statistics Center website.