Cancer Overtakes Heart Disease as Top Killer in 22 States

Monday, January 11, 2016
(graphic: Sciepro/SPL/Getty)

By Mike Stobbe, AP Medical Writer


NEW YORK (AP) — Cancer death rates actually have been falling for nearly 25 years, but deaths from heart disease — the No. 1 killer nationwide — have been dropping at a steeper rate.


As a result, in 2014, cancer was the top cause of death in 22 states.


It's also the leading cause of death in certain groups of people, including Hispanics, Asians, and adults ages 40 to 79.


The trend is noted in the American Cancer Society's latest annual report on cancer statistics, released Thursday.


“In 2016, 1,685,210 new cancer cases and 595,690 cancer deaths are projected to occur in the United States,” wrote Rebecca L. Siegel MPH, Kimberly D. Miller MPH and Ahmedin Jemal DVM, PhD, according to an abstract of the report appearing in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. “Overall cancer incidence trends (13 oldest SEER registries) are stable in women, but declining by 3.1% per year in men (from 2009-2012), much of which is because of recent rapid declines in prostate cancer diagnoses.


“The cancer death rate has dropped by 23% since 1991, translating to more than 1.7 million deaths averted through 2012. Despite this progress, death rates are increasing for cancers of the liver, pancreas, and uterine corpus, and cancer is now the leading cause of death in 21 states, primarily due to exceptionally large reductions in death from heart disease. Among children and adolescents (aged birth-19 years), brain cancer has surpassed leukemia as the leading cause of cancer death because of the dramatic therapeutic advances against leukemia.”


AllGov editors contributed to this article.



To Learn More:

Medi-Cal Cancer Patients Get Lousier Care and Die More Often (by Ken Broder, AllGov California)

Study of 440,000+ Shows Eating Processed Meat Leads to Increase in Death from Heart Disease and Cancer (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Cancer Rates Down for Adults, Up for Children (by Ken Broder, AllGov California)


anonamouse 8 years ago
Not surprising that adults 40-79 are the greatest risk group: these are the people exposed to the polio vaccines in the '50s and '60s that were contaminated with a carcinogenic monkey virus. For more on the greatest public health debacle in US history, see "The Virus and the Vaccine," Bookchin/Schumacher (St Martin's Press, NY, 2005).

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