Some cancer death numbers are down, prostate rate improving
This week the American Cancer Society posted some positive numbers on the fight against cancer.
The death rate dipped 2.2%, the largest single-year drop, from 2016-2017.
The bigger picture also saw a decline. From 1991 to 2017 it tumbled 29%.
Lung cancer, a notorious killer helped fuel those numbers. But the fight against another well-known and survivable cancer didn't appear to make as much progress: prostate cancer. The explanation is rather simple though.
"One of the main reasons that we think that prostate cancer might have had a change is that about 8-10 years ago there was a change in the national recommendation for prostate cancer screening, and it was what we call a downgrade to say don’t screen," said Dr. Daniel Lin, Chief of Urologic Oncology at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. "The consequences of that have been very clear that now we’re diagnosing more men with higher stage, higher grade cancers, more metastasis from cancer."
Lin says a PSA test is still the most reliable way to catch it early. He encourages men to do it.
"The overwhelming majority of men that are diagnosed with prostate cancer are cured and do not die of their prostate cancer."
A simple non-invasive blood test and a biopsy make it a straightforward process.
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