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Report: Cancer death rates on the decline across U.S.

Progress is also being made in the fight against cancer in Maine.
Cancer Center (File)
Cancer Center (File)(WABI)
Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 4:45 PM EST
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TOPSHAM, Maine (WABI) - Progress is being made in the fight against cancer in Maine.

A recent report from the American Cancer Society shows the cancer death rate across the country has decreased 31% in the past 30 years.

While that is good news, there’s more work to be done.

“What the report that we released this week shows us is that more than 10,000 Mainers are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2021. More than 3,000 Mainers are expected to die from the disease. So, we can’t stop working on other important diseases, and as part of that, if we roll back the clocks, we would be paying a lot more in terms of lives and money in the long run,” explained Hilary Schneider from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

Schneider is the Maine Government Relations Director for ACS CAN.

She says the report shows that an estimated 3.2 million cancer deaths have been averted from 1991 through 2018 thanks to improvements in treatment and early detection.

A record drop in cancer mortality rates, updated cancer stats, and projections about the possible impact of COVID-19: the 2021 Cancer Facts & Figures are here. https://cancerstatisticscenter.cancer.org/#!/

Posted by American Cancer Society on Tuesday, January 12, 2021

“Maine has fantastic cancer screening rates of the percentage of people who get mammograms and colon cancer screening, cervical cancer screening, and we’ve been doing better at people who are at increased risk are getting lung cancer screenings,” she explained.

Health officials have also seen reductions in smoking.

Something, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network plans to advocate more of this legislative session.

Their hope is that the cigarette excise tax will be increased and that the state will see an end of all flavored tobacco products, among other preventive measures.

“Cancer doesn’t sleep because we’re in a global pandemic,” she said. “It’s why we’re going to be working really hard to make sure we continue to make progress in reducing tobacco use in the state and passing laws and policies that help support that.”

The impact of COVID-19 on the cancer burden may be unknown for a long time. That’s why it’s crucial to reduce the risk factors for cancer.

If you have not been screened for cancer, now may be the time to do so.

Healthy You in 2021: Screenings

As we embark on a new year, Robin encourages you to understand the important role early detection has in the fight for a world without cancer. You can learn more about cancer screenings by visiting https://www.cancer.org/healthy/find-cancer-early/cancer-screening-guidelines.html

Posted by American Cancer Society in Maine on Thursday, January 7, 2021

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