Cancer Medicine

Mortality from cancer continues to decline, contrary to the claims of quacks

Recently published 2020 American Cancer Society statistics show that overall cancer mortality continues to decline. In fact, it’s declining faster than ever, thanks to science-based medicine and public health.

One of the most common narratives I observe coming from those promoting “alternative medicine” (i.e., quackery) is that we are “losing the war on cancer”. (Just Google the phrase if you don’t believe me, and it’s not just alternative medicine mavens who are repeating the meme.) Usually, these sorts of stories come up during anniversaries of President Nixon’s declaration of “war on cancer” (particularly decade anniversaries like the 40th anniversary in December 2011, leaving us less than two years away from the next big round of stories). Of course, I’ve always objected to the use of the metaphor of “war” for progress against the disease and even more so how this particular metaphor lumps a large group of very different diseases into one term, “cancer”, as though it were all one disease. Even so, it is a useful exercise from time to time to determine how science-based medicine is doing against the large group of diseases known collectively as “cancer” and, in particular, how it is doing against the most common cancers that afflict humanity. Fortunately, the American Cancer Society (ACS) does just that every year in January, when it publishes its yearly update to its cancer statistics, thus providing a snapshot of where we are in terms of cancer.

Where we are is actually not bad. This year, the ACS reported the single largest one-year decline in cancer mortality and the continuation of 25 years of continuous decline in death rates due to cancer:

The death rate from cancer in the US declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop ever recorded, according to annual statistics reporting from the American Cancer Society. The decline in deaths from lung cancer drove the record drop. Deaths fell from about 3% per year from 2008 – 2013 to 5% from 2013 – 2017 in men and from 2% to almost 4% in women. However, lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer death.

The decline in the death rate over the past 26 years has been steady. Overall cancer death rates dropped by an average of 1.5% per year between 2008 and 2017. This translates to more than 2.9 million deaths avoided since 1991, when rates were at their highest. A total of 1,806,590 new cancer cases and 606,520 deaths are expected in the US in 2020, which is about 4,950 new cases and more than 1,600 deaths each day.

The numbers are reported in “Cancer Statistics, 2020,” published in the American Cancer Society’s peer-reviewed journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Again, cancer is not all one disease; so it’s necessary to unpack these figures and go into more detail. The news is mostly, but not all, good. I also realize that, to those who have lost loved ones to cancer or who are facing imminent death from cancer, these figures might well represent cold comfort. Cancer does, after all, still remain the number two cause of death in the US, close behind heart disease, at least for now. (Cancer is expected to surpass heart disease as the number one cause of death soon and has already done so in some countries.) That means, for all the progress that’s been made in terms of declining cancer mortality, a lot of people—far too many—still die of a form of cancer and that that will continue for the foreseeable future.

The good news and bad news

Whenever discussing cancer statistics, I like to use a few key figures from the yearly ACS report on cancer statistics. First, there’s this one, which shows the estimated numbers of new cases and cancer deaths for cancers in males and females:

Estimated new cancer cases

As you can see, lung cancer remains by far the biggest cancer killer for both men and women, and the vast majority of lung cancer cases are attributable to smoking tobacco. In terms of incidence, gender-specific cancers (prostate in men and breast in women) are the most common, and each is the second most common cause of death. Pancreatic cancer is a particularly deadly cancer, making up only 3% of cancers but 8% of cancer deaths.

Here are the highlights of the positive findings:

  • Lung cancer death rates declined by 51% from 1990 to 2017 among men and 26% from 2002 to 2017 among women. From 2013 to 2017, the rates of new lung cancer cases dropped by 5% per year in men and 4% per year in women. The differences reflect historical patterns in tobacco use, where women began smoking in large numbers many years later than men and were slower to quit. However, smoking patterns do not appear to explain the higher lung cancer rates being reported in women compared with men born around the 1960s.
  • Breast cancer death rates declined 40% from 1989 to 2017 among women.
  • Prostate cancer death rates declined 52% from 1993 to 2017 among men.
  • Colorectal cancer death rates declined 53% from 1980 to 2017 among men and by 57% from 1969 to 2017 among women.

These are amazing numbers and reflect real progress. Yes, declines in smoking are enough to drive a fraction of the decline in the overall death rate from cancer, but tobacco use alone doesn’t explain the striking declines in mortality from breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer.

Personally, I always find it interesting, from a historical perspective, to examine the incidence curves that are always included by the ACS every year, first for cancer overall:

Cancer incidence and mortality

And individual cancers in men and women:

Cancer mortality

As you can see, although cancer incidence has been declining rapidly in men and the slow increase in women has mostly leveled off. People who see these curves for the first time often ask about the spike in cancer incidence for men in the early 1990s. That increase was driven by widespread prostate‐specific antigen (PSA) testing among previously unscreened men and the subsequent overdiagnosis of a lot of asymptomatic prostate cancer that likely didn’t need treatment. The overall decline in cancer rates for men between 2007 and 2014 was driven primarily by the decline in lung cancer incidence due to a decrease in the number of people smoking, but the decline leveled off after that. The authors attribute that leveling off to slowing declines for colorectal cancer (CRC) and stabilizing rates for prostate cancer. The overall incidence of cancer in females has remained fairly stable for the last quarter century or so. The authors note that the decline in lung cancer rates has “been offset by a tapering decline for CRC and increasing or stable rates for other common cancers”.

In terms of incidence, there are some interesting observations, some of which are likely due to the increasing prevalence of obesity, which is a strong risk factor for some cancers. For instance, breast cancer incidence has increased by 0.3% per year since 2004, and the authors suggest that this increase could well be due to increasing obesity and declines in the fertility rate. Some of the first things they teach you about breast cancer in medical school are its risk factors, which include nulliparity (having no children, and actually, having more children correlates with a lower risk of breast cancer, as does breast feeding), early age at menarche (first menstrual period), and late menopause. Obesity, unsurprisingly, is also a risk factor for breast cancer. Of course, the gradual rise in breast cancer rates makes the dramatic decline in mortality from breast cancer (40% in 30 years) even more remarkable.

In addition:

The slight rise in breast cancer incidence rates (by approximately 0.3% per year) since 2004 has been attributed at least in part to continued declines in the fertility rate as well as increased obesity,36 factors that may also contribute to the continued increase in incidence for uterine corpus cancer (1.3% per year from 2007‐2016).37 However, a recent study indicated that the rise in uterine cancer is driven by nonendometrioid subtypes, which are less strongly associated with obesity than endometrioid carcinoma.38 Thyroid cancer incidence has stabilized after the implementation of more conservative diagnostic practices in response to the sharp uptick in the diagnosis of largely indolent tumors in recent decades.39, 40

I’ve written about overdiagnosis of thyroid cancer, thanks to ultrasound screening, and how that has led to consideration of reclassifying an indolent variant of thyroid cancer as not cancerous. The increase in incidence of uterine cancer is a bit of an oddity, and more research will be needed to determine what might be causing it.

And there’s more:

Incidence also continues to increase for cancers of the kidney, pancreas, liver, and oral cavity and pharynx (among non‐Hispanic whites) and melanoma of the skin, although melanoma has begun to decline in recent birth cohorts.28, 44 Liver cancer is increasing most rapidly, by 2% to 3% annually during 2007 through 2016, although the pace has slowed from previous years.8 The majority of these cases (71%) are potentially preventable because most liver cancer risk factors are modifiable (eg, obesity, excess alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and hepatitis B and C viruses).45 Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, the most common chronic blood‐borne infection in the United States, confers the largest relative risk and accounts for 1 in 4 cases.46 Although well‐tolerated antiviral therapies achieve cure rates of >90% and could potentially avert much of the future burden of HCV‐associated disease,47 most infected individuals are undiagnosed, and thus untreated. Only 14% of the more than 76 million individuals born during 1945 through 1965 (baby boomers) had received the recommended one‐time HCV test in 2015.48 Compounding the challenge is a greater than 3‐fold spike in acute HCV infections reported to the CDC between 2010 and 2017 as a consequence of the opioid epidemic, of which 75% to 85% of cases will progress to chronic infection.49

The increase in liver cancer incidence has been noted before. Sadly, it looks as though the opioid addiction epidemic will in future decades claim more victims due to liver cancer.

Contrary to what you might read, there doesn’t seem to be a signal indicating increased cancer incidence due to an as yet undiscovered environmental exposure or toxin. Cancers for which obesity is a risk actor are, unsurprisingly, on the rise, and cancers for which tobacco is a major risk factor are on the decline, while cancers associated with hepatitis B and C infections are on the rise. As Steve Novella has said many times, the best advice for minimizing your chances of being diagnosed with cancer are don’t smoke, exercise, eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight, get your colonoscopy (which actually has decreased the incidence of colorectal cancer), and use sunscreen. Also, be vaccinated against hepatitis B to prevent liver cancer and against HPV to prevent cervical and other HPV-associated cancers and screened for hepatitis C if you’re in the appropriate age range.

Declining cancer mortality

There’s one more figure that I like to show from this yearly report, and that’s a more detailed breakdown of cancer mortality going all the way back to 1930:

Cancer mortality

As you can see, cancer mortality for men climbed continuously from 1930 and peaked around 1990. Unsurprisingly, that increasing mortality was mostly driven by smoking, as the generation of men with the highest usage of tobacco reached the age and number of years spent smoking when lung cancer is most likely to strike. Mortality began to decline, delayed by a number of years of course, as smoking rates began to decline after 1972.

Getting into the weeds a bit:

The progress against cancer reflects large declines in mortality for the 4 major cancers (lung, breast, prostate, and colorectum) (Fig. 7). Specifically, as of 2017, the death rate has dropped from its peak for lung cancer by 51% among males (since 1990) and by 26% among females (since 2002); for female breast cancer by 40% (since 1989); for prostate cancer by 52% (since 1993); and for CRC by 53% among males (since 1980) and by 57% among females (since 1969). The CRC death rate in women was declining prior to 1969, but that is the first year for which data exclusive of the small intestine are available. Two decades of steep (4% per year on average) declines for prostate cancer are attributed to an earlier stage at diagnosis through PSA testing, as well as advances in treatments.61, 62 However, prostate cancer death rates stabilized in recent years (Table 5), possibly related to declines in PSA testing and an uptick in the diagnosis of distant stage disease.32 Declines in mortality have also slowed for female breast and CRC. In contrast, declines in lung cancer mortality have accelerated, from approximately 3% annually during 2008 through 2013 to 5% during 2013 through 2017 in men and from 2% to almost 4% in women.

In other words, a lot of progress has been made, but, again, lung cancer is primarily driving the bus here, along with the other most common cancers. Some of this progress is from screening. Some of it comes from better treatments. In particular, there is one success story based on improved treatment, namely melanoma, for which the mortality decline has been truly dramatic:

Recent mortality declines are even more rapid for melanoma of the skin, most likely reflecting improved survival in the wake of promising new treatments for metastatic disease. In 2011, the US Food and Drug Administration approved ipilimumab, the first immune checkpoint inhibitor approved for cancer therapy,63 and vemurafenib, a BRAF inhibitor, for the treatment of advanced melanoma.64 Subsequently, the 1‐year relative survival rate for metastatic melanoma escalated from 42% for patients diagnosed during 2008 through 2010 to 55% for those diagnosed during 2013 through 2015.65 Likewise, the overall melanoma mortality rate dropped by 7% annually during 2013 through 2017 in men and women aged 20 to 64 years compared with declines during 2006 through 2010 of approximately 1% annually among individuals aged 50 to 64 years and 2% to 3% among those aged 20 to 49 years (Fig. 8). The impact was even more striking for individuals aged 65 years and older, among whom rates were increasing prior to 2013 but are now declining by 5% to 6% per year.

Yes, melanoma is a nasty one. Traditionally, when I was in training, there was basically little or no systemic therapy. There was interferon, but that didn’t improve survival much, and it had a number of side effects that made patients feel terrible while they were using it. Other than surgical advances, mainly in the form of less radical surgery such as sentinel lymph node sampling supplanting radical lymphadenectomy (removal of all the lymph nodes in a nodal basin), there just wasn’t much else to offer melanoma patients. Given that melanoma responded, albeit weakly, to immunotherapy with interferon, it’s not entirely unexpected that it would respond even better to the new generation of immunotherapy agents, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Unfortunately, not all the news is good. Mortality rates have risen over the last decade for pancreatic cancer in males and uterine cancer in females, as well as for some less common cancers, such as cancers of the liver, small intestine, anus, penis, brain and nervous system, eye and orbit, and oral cavity and throat. Increases in liver cancer mortality are, however, slowing in women and stabilizing in men

Also, there are large disparities in cancer mortality and incidence, and the largest disparities exist for cancers that are, theoretically at least, the most preventable, such as lung cancer, cervical cancer, and melanoma of the skin. For example, lung cancer mortality and incidence rates are three- to -fourfold higher in Kentucky than they are in Utah, and that’s all based on smoking prevalence.

For cervical cancer:

Similarly, cervical cancer incidence and mortality currently vary by 2‐fold to 3‐fold between states, with incidence rates ranging from <5 per 100,000 population in Vermont and New Hampshire to 10 per 100,000 population in Arkansas (Table 10). Ironically, advances in cancer control often exacerbate disparities, and state gaps for cervical and other HPV‐associated cancers may widen in the wake of unequal uptake of the HPV vaccine, which has already shown efficacy in reducing the burden of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia of grade 2 or higher.81 In 2018, up‐to‐date HPV vaccination among adolescents (those aged 13‐17 years) ranged from 38% in Kansas and Mississippi to >70% in North Dakota and Rhode Island among girls and from 27% in Mississippi to >70% in Massachusetts and Rhode Island among boys.75

Basically, states that make it a priority to vaccinate against HPV will likely ultimately benefit through decreased incidence of and mortality from cervical cancer.

There are also disparities in cancer survival between African-Americans and whites, with the five year survival for all cancers combined being 67% overall, 68% for whites, and 62% for African-Americans. After adjusting for age, sex, and stage at diagnosis, the relative risk of death after a cancer diagnosis is 33% higher in black patients than in white patients, and this disparity is even larger for American Indians/Alaska Natives, among whom the risk of cancer death is 51% higher than it is for whites.

Finally, the incidence of childhood cancers has been slowly increasing by about 0.7% per year since 1975 for reasons that have not been worked out. However, death rates from childhood cancers continue to decline. The overall mortality from childhood cancer declined from 6.3 (per 100,000 population) in children and 7.1 in adolescents in 1970 to 2.0 and 2.7, respectively, in 2017, for overall cancer mortality reductions of 68% in children and 63% in adolescents. During that same time period, mortality from leukemia has declined by 83% in children and by 68% in adolescents; from lymphoma by 80% and 82%, respectively. The five year relative survival rate has improved from 58% for all cancers combined in the 1970s to 84% in the early 2010s for children.

We are not losing the war on cancer

Critics of oncology and some quacks, not infrequently argue that we’re “losing the war on cancer.” (Again, just Google the phrase “losing the war on cancer”.) Arguably, we’re slowly winning, at least if you insist on using that metaphor. Mortality from cancer is declining, and for some cancers the decline has been quite dramatic just within my lifetime. For breast cancer, it’s been incredibly dramatic within my professional lifetime. I graduated from medical school over 30 years ago, and in that time mortality from breast cancer has declined by 40%. That is, quite simply, incredible to me.

Of course, it’s a painfully simplistic question, as is another question I keep hearing, “Why haven’t we cured cancer yet?” (Mainly because it’s complicated as hell.) What the evidence has shown clearly (and based on the ACS report is continuing to show) is that overall death rates from cancer are steadily falling, driven by declines in death rates from most of the common cancers. Meanwhile, five year survival rates are climbing for most cancers, even for more advanced disease.

Of course, as tobacco-caused cancers decline, unfortunately the incidence of cancers linked to obesity is climbing. So is the incidence of liver cancer, which is linked to hepatitis B and C, which are in turn increasingly linked to the opioid addiction epidemic. It will be decades before we know the full effect on cancer incidence and mortality of the obesity and opioid epidemics, and it is possible that some of the progress made thus far in reducing cancer mortality will be reversed. We also have a long way to go in terms of making sure that race and socioeconomic status do not impact one’s risk of dying from cancer.

Still, even if you insist on using the metaphor of a war, I would argue that, contrary to the common perception, we are not losing the “war on cancer”. Mortality is declining and survival is increasing for most cancers. It’s just that progress is slow, and results are mixed. I’ve always thought that it was hubris to think that progress would be anything other than slow against such a deadly, complex, multifactorial set of diseases that go under the label of cancer. Conquering all cancers is a project that will take more than decades. It will take generations. I also understand that the dramatic progress made is cold comfort to those who’ve lost loved ones to cancer or who are facing imminent death themselves from cancer. After all, I lost my mother-in-law to breast cancer 11 years ago, and by then the decline in breast cancer mortality since my youth had already reached dramatic levels.

Even if you think that progress against cancer has been too slow, the latest ACS data demonstrate conclusively that the narrative regular SBM readers hear from various proponents of “alternative cancer cures”, that cancer is killing more than ever, that big pharma doesn’t want to cure cancer, is not only incorrect but detached from reality.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

35 replies on “Mortality from cancer continues to decline, contrary to the claims of quacks”

Finally, the incidence of childhood cancers has been slowly increasing by about 0.7% per year since 1975 for reasons that have not
been worked out.

I thought childhood cancers had started to increase in the late 1950s? Medulloblastoma primarily. And then yes in the 1970s, Osteosarcoma was the main factor in rising rates but I will have to find my files.

@ christine

As usual, you really don’t know what you are talking about. There are a number of reasons that can partly explain any rise in cancer rates:

A. we keep more children alive, low birth weight and very low birth weight. These kids most often have numerous problems, including immune system and genetics, and kids aren’t dying of vaccine-preventable diseases.
B. diet has changed
C. more and more chemicals are being released into the environment, including pesticides
D. depends how one defines an increase, relative rates or absolute rates.

Oct. 20, 2016 — Childhood cancer has been on the rise.(WebMD available at:

The numbers are small because any childhood cancer is rare. Just one of every 100 new cancer diagnoses in the United States is a childhood case.

Still, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) says there has been a significant increase in the overall rate of childhood cancers in recent decades — up 27% since 1975 in kids under age 19, according to data collected by the NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program.

The news comes as the overall incidence of adult cancers has fallen.

The rise seems to be driven, in large part, by an increase in leukemia, which is up almost 35% since 1975. Leukemia is the most common cancer in kids. Soft tissue cancers, like those that develop in bones or muscles, are up nearly 42%. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is up 34%.

“When you see an increase like that — that fast — in a short period of time, most likely it is going to be driven by some exposure to environmental factors,” says Catherine Metayer, MD, PhD, an adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. She and her team just won a $6 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to study the causes of leukemia in children.

Malcolm A. Smith et al (2010 May 20). Outcomes for Children and Adolescents With Cancer: Challenges for the Twenty-First Century. Journal of Clinical Oncology; 28(15): 2625-2634. Available at:

Childhood cancer incidence rates increased significantly from 1975 through 2006, with increasing rates for acute lymphoblastic leukemia being most notable. Childhood cancer mortality rates declined by more than 50% between 1975 and 2006. For leukemias and lymphomas, significantly decreasing mortality rates were observed throughout the 32-year period, though the rate of decline slowed somewhat after 1998. For remaining childhood cancers, significantly decreasing mortality rates were observed from 1975 to 1996, with stable rates from 1996 through 2006. Increased survival rates were observed for all categories of childhood cancers studied, with the extent and temporal pace of the increases varying by diagnosis.

@ Joel,

“As usual, you really don’t know what you are talking about. There are a number of reasons that can partly explain any rise in cancer rates:”

Okay this time your misquoting me is MY fault because I FORGOT TO USE QUOTATION MARKS. I was quoting ORAC with this:

“Finally, the incidence of childhood cancers has been slowly increasing by about 0.7% per year since 1975 for reasons that have not been worked out”

So do you still think that whoever said that doesn’t know what they were talking about? Or did you not read his post & not realize HE said that?

Or are you just immediately attacking what (you think) I say because I’m antivax?

What I wrote was: “I thought childhood cancers had started to increase in the late 1950s? Medulloblastoma primarily. And then yes in the 1970s, Osteosarcoma was the main factor in rising rates but I will have to find my files.”

It was a question.

I suggest you find your files and then make a point or ask your question.

What happened in the 50s doesn’t contradict what happened in the 70s.

@ squirrelelite,

I was simply asking if it had not started increasing during the 1950s. I know it’s been steadily increasing since the 1970s but I had remembered something about a dramatic increase between 1950’s-1970s.

The annual update was focused on what has been happening recently going back about 25-35 years.

We could go back further, but to what end?

Many current diagnostic methods weren’t available in the 50s and treatments have changed drastically as well.

The purpose of these reports is to see what is happening now.

Are we making progress and where can we do better?

“Your files?”

Oh, aren’t you so cute.

Dr. Harrison has aptly pointed out that you really have no idea what you’re talking about. You really need to stop these “self-therapy” sessions, because they are doing nothing but perpetuating your delusions.

@ Lawrence,


Yes I have files. I have downloaded the raw mortality data files from the CDC that go back to 1900. Some of these pdfs are 500-800 pages. Why wouldn’t I keep them in a file?

How is posting on a thread about cancer mortality possibly therapeutic for me? Orac writes to educate & I’m asking questions. What’s your problem with that?

@christine: LOL. Do you have a file on Dunning-Kruger? Read it, you’ll like it; it’s all about you. Just don’t try to pretend you’re an honest actor. You’ve a track record here a hundred miles wide and nobody else is remotely fooled.

@ Christine:
Did you know you can get the London Coroner’s rolls going back to the 1300’s? It’s amazing how many children died of “teeth”.

@ JustaTech

“Did you know you can get the London Coroner’s rolls going back to the 1300’s?”

You’re teasing my fondness of medical pornography, here…

Where can I find it?

@F68.10: Here’s a link to the ones from 1300-1378:

The more recent ones, and the inquests, might require access to academic journals. I thought I had seen they were available, but I could be mistaken. For older stuff there’s the Twitter bot @DeathMedieval – that tweets out death reports around 1200-1300. Just know it’s a bot and if you respond to it, it will tell you some gruesome way you’ve died. It’s nothing personal, it’s a bot, but some people get really upset by that.

Please submit this to the NYtimes! The mantra of “toxins”–mostly food and environmental is such a widespread meme that I wonder if anything will have much effect on it. I will forward this to lots of people, especially those who start screaming “toxins!” every time one of their hard-drinking, often smoker, and usually obese friends succumbs to cancer in their late 50’s.

Re childhood cancer, the outlook today is much brighter than in the past.

“About 11,050 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2020. Overall, this accounts for less than 1% of all cancers. Childhood cancer rates have been rising slightly for the past few decades.

Because of major treatment advances in recent decades, 84% of children with cancer now survive 5 years or more. Overall, this is a huge increase since the mid-1970s, when the 5-year survival rate was about 58%.”

Source: American Cancer Society.

A couple of years ago I was doing a half-marathon that was supporting St Jude’s Children’s Hospital. About 2/3rds of the way through the course there were all these banners set up with pictures of kids during their cancer treatment and then after their treatment. For some of the kids the age gap was 10+ years. I started just bawling crying running past all these kids who had gotten through cancer and were going on with the rest of their lives. It was incredibly uplifting, and really showed how far cancer treatments have come.

(Also, sobbing does nothing for one’s pace but does take the mind off one’s knee pain.)

@ christine

Because you claim so many things, it is sometimes difficult to tell when it is you or just you citing someone else. As for the “quote”: “for reasons that have not been worked out.” It would be nice if you gave complete references to your quotes; but, no, I don’t completely agree. We will probably, at least not in the next decade or two, work out all the reasons for 100% of childhood cancer cases; but, we already, as I wrote and quoted, have a good idea of some of the major contributors. Of course, given all of your previous positions, that isn’t good enough, you want 100%.

And given your previous comments, it is difficult to tell when you are actually asking a question or just posting a rhetorical question.

@ Joel,

Yes, that last one was my fault. From your previous reply above I find this of utmost interest:

““When you see an increase like that — that fast — in a short period of time, most likely it is going to be driven by some exposure to environmental factors,” says Catherine Metayer, MD, PhD, an adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health.”

That was from an article published in 2016! I can’t believe I missed that when I got tangled up in an online debate about that very thing in 2017! Would have been helpful & I am saving that one for sure.

@ Christine

Yep, environmental factors, so why focus on vaccines when we know that over 80,000 chemicals, most never required to conduct safety tests, have been released into the environment since World War II?

Check out Phillip and Mary Landrigan’s book: Children and Environmental Toxins.

You didn’t miss Metayer’s article, you missed understanding it.

There’s a chiroquack radio show called “The Dr. Bob Martin Show” that airs weekly in many locales. Martin will promo these “natural” cancer centers (for the adverti$ing revenue), stating how there are alternative treatments to the “slash, burn and poison” of traditional cancer treatment…and then try to sell you on the alternative cancer treatment center as your best hope.

Funny how he didn’t bring up the differenced. l

“Martin will promo these “natural” cancer centers (for the adverti$ing revenue)”

Are there natural law centers too? ’Cos I’m thinking shotgun enemas appropriate for all the scum who would sell such shit to the frightened and desperately ill. /swiftnotswift

I wondered how Mississippi managed to have the best vaccine uptake numbers for most vaccines and the worst for HPV. It turns out that HPV isn’t on their schedule of required immunizations. I hope they correct that.It may be a matter of economics, plus the late age for the vaccine to be given.

@ Larry Lepthien,

I do not think the HPV vaccine is on ANY state’s required immunization schedule.

Mississippi, the state with the “best vaccine uptake” rate due to no exemptions since 1979?

Has the highest Infant Mortality rate.

Has the highest Premature Death rate

Has the highest Cardiovascular Deaths rate

AND RANKS AS THE WORST state in the nation or overall health. And they rank 47th for educational attainment as well.

Oh but they have the least Pertussis deaths tho …

None of which has anything to do with vaccines and everything to do with being poor. So now, on top of all your previous nastiness, we can add contempt for poverty.

Who said anything about contempt? That state treats people like absolute sh!t, it’s true. Poor people and especially poor black people. Did any of you ever study any history? Jesus Christ.

And with all of that, they don’t have to deal with outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases on top of it….it also might have something to do with a general lack of overall healthcare (numbnuts)…..and that Mississippi is also one of the poorest states.

Amazing though, that they’ve managed to maintain these strict vaccine mandates, despite being a deep red state.

@ Squirrelelite,

“Many current diagnostic methods weren’t available in the 50s and treatments have changed drastically as well.

The purpose of these reports is to see what is happening now.”

Okay I see thank you.

It’s certainly encouraging to see this, even if it would be better to have more.

I’m following the story of a young child with an incurable cancer going through (science-based) treatment, and it’s so hard.

@ Christine

Yep, Orac did say “the incidence of childhood cancers has been slowly increasing by about 0.7% per year since 1975 for reasons that have not been worked out.” And I disagree with him. As I stated, there are studies showing that certain chemicals in our environment are related to cancers. However, whether I agree or disagree with Orac, you ignore all the other possibilities, the thousands upon thousands of chemicals that have been released in our environment and choose to believe vaccines.

Read Phillip and Mary Landrigan’s book: “Children and Environmental Toxins.” They are major researchers on the effects of chemicals in our environment

And check out at Wikipedia. Phillip J. Landrigan

Christine: “I do not think the HPV vaccine is on ANY state’s required immunization schedule.”

HPV vaccination is currently required for school attendance in three jurisdictions: Virginia, D.C. and Rhode Island. Hawaii will be implementing this policy beginning in July.

I was disappointed to find all the rates and history graphs in the ACS report are age adjusted rates. Does anyone have the figures for absolute numbers of cancer deaths per million population over the last 30 years? Just wondering what is happening at that level.

Using not age adjusted rates would be sllly. Cancer incidence amongst older people is much higher.

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