Cancer Death Rate Remains High in Delaware Despite Optimistic Nu - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Cancer Death Rate Remains High in Delaware Despite Optimistic Numbers Nationally

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DOVER, Del.- Researchers this week reported the largest-ever one-year decline in the U.S. cancer death rate, a drop they credited to advances in lung-tumor treatments.

The overall cancer death rate has been falling about 1.5% a year since 1991. It fell 2.2% from 2016 to 2017, according to the new American Cancer Society report.

Cancer continues to be a major killer in Delaware, however. According to Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the state.

"Delaware ranks second-highest nationally for cancer incidents and 18th highest nationally for cancer mortality," said Helen Arthur, chief of the department's health promotion and disease prevention section. 

The DHSS analyzed 9,718 cancer deaths in a 2011 to 2015 report, which found 53% of those were from New Castle County, 19% from Kent County, and the remaining 28% from Sussex County. Fifty-one percent of those nearly 10,000 deaths were men and the other 49% were women. However, over recent years there has been a decline in death rates.

The report shows a 3% decline in cancer incidences compared to data collected between 2001 and 2005, and a 14% decline in deaths.   

"The greatest contributor to the decline in Delaware that I believe, is an increase that we have witnessed in early detection. So when we're able to find cancers earlier, at their earliest stages they are more treatable," said Arthur.

The greatest decline was found in colorectal, lung, prostate and stomach cancer. Researchers found that most cancers did have a genetic predisposition, however some lifestyle choices were also a big factor.

Arthur assures making healthier lifestyle habits is key to a healthy life.

"You can exercise more, you can avoid tobacco use, avoid alcohol use, do your early detections, do your screenings, make sure that you are making healthy choices," said Arthur.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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