Cancer Incidence in the United States: A Progress Report
A midpoint assessment of the American Cancer Society's ambitious goal to cut cancer incidence by one-fourth by 2015 finds overall cancer incidence rates were eight percent lower in 2004 than they were in 1992. Despite those gains, the authors of the report say the rate of reduction over the first half of the challenge period was only about half the size necessary to reach the challenge goal, and that new understandings of preventable factors and new efforts are needed, particularly in the areas of tobacco control and obesity, to increase progress. The report is published in the November/December issue of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.
In 1998, the volunteer Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society set an ambitious challenge goal for the United States to reduce cancer incidence rates by 25 percent between 1992 and 2015. The new report is an analysis of progress toward that goal through 2004, the midpoint of the challenge period. It shows that incidence rates have been dropping 0.6 percent per year since 1992, the year cancer incidence peaked in the U.S. The greatest declines have occurred among men and among those aged 65 years and older. Although decreasing trends were similar by race, incidence rates continue to be higher among African Americans than among Whites.
The report finds while declining trends have been observed for some cancer sites, others have remained constant or increased over the 12-year period. Drops in incidence were seen for cancers of the prostate, lung (men), colorectum, ovary, oral cavity, stomach, and cervix. A marked decline for invasive breast cancer in women began in 1999, while incidence rates for lung cancer in women have stabilized in recent years. . . .
Also in this issue: Clean indoor air laws creating completely smoke-free environments are rapidly spreading throughout the world and are low-cost, safe, and effective, according to a comprehensive review. The report, by Michael Eriksen, ScD, of the Georgia State University Institute of Public Health and Frank Chaloupka, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois Health Policy Center and Department of Economics, reviews clean indoor air laws' effect on public health and the economic impact of their implementation.