Cancer Mortality Rate Declines Are Promising
The latest annual report on cancer trends shows "that a long-term decline in death rates has continued for both sexes," and there "seems little doubt that the decline in cancer death rates since the early 1990s is real," a New York Times editorial states.
"If the decline means that fewer people are contracting cancer, then that is great news," the editorial continues, adding, "But if it simply means that fewer cases are being diagnosed because fewer people are getting screened for breast and prostate cancer or can afford to visit a doctor, then that is bad news."
According to the Times, "Any failure to diagnose today will only heighten the damage when the cancers become too big to ignore." The Times concludes, "Clearly there is a lot still to be done -- in curbing tobacco use, preventing exposure to carcinogens and detecting and treating an array of cancers" (New York Times, 12/3).
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