Science Questions with Surprising Answers
Answers provided by
Dr. Christopher S. Baird

Why are cancer mortality rates rising?

Category: Health      Published: December 20, 2012

chemotherapy items
Cancer mortality rates are dropping thanks to technology and modern medicine. Public Domain Image, source: National Cancer Institute.

Cancer mortality rates are not rising. They are dropping. For instance, data from the World Health Organization shows that 26% fewer U.S. middle-aged men died of cancer in 2010 than in 1975. For U.S. middle-aged women, the cancer mortality in the same time period has dropped 19%. Surprisingly, the deaths due to coronary heart disease in the U.S. have dropped even more, around 80% for both genders in the last 30 years. In fact, the mortality rate in the U.S. due to almost every cause has dropped significantly over the years. The nation is a healthier, safer place than it was decades ago, thanks in part to technology and modern medicine.

Topics: cancer, cancer mortality, cancer trends, medicine, technology