The rate of cancer rise is dramatic, doubling in the last 30 years. Furthermore, of the estimated 560,000 cancer victims who would die in 1997, most of them could have prevented their illness had they paid attention to some simple lifestyle factors.
Although the number of cancer deaths continues to rise each year in the U.S., the per capita cancer mortality rate has just recently started to decline. This celebrated small decline was first announced by the National Cancer Institute in late 1996, but a careful retrospective review of the data indicated that the per capita cancer death rate peaked in 1991 and has ever so slowly declined thereafter.
What was the reason for this decline? Not improved cancer treatments, but cancer prevention itself emerges as the cause for this good news. A national commitment to the prevention of cancer, largely replacing reliance on hopes for universal cures.
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