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Cancer Death Rate Falls to Historic Low


2.9 Million Fewer Cancer Deaths Since 1991

WASHINGTON, DC – “The cancer death rate in the United States fell 2.2 percent in 2017 — the biggest single-year drop ever reported — propelled by gains against lung cancer,” reported the Washington Post, following the release of groundbreaking statistics from the American Cancer Society.

According to the American Cancer Society study, the death rate from cancer in the United States has declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, which translates to more than 2.9 million fewer deaths from cancer during this time period. That is remarkable.

The numbers are compelling, but more important are the people behind the data – the cancer patients, families, and survivors of this terrible disease. This incredible news should be celebrated, but should also serve as motivation to continue our moonshot efforts to find a cure for cancer.

When the Energy and Commerce Committee, led by then-Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) advanced the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act – landmark legislation signed into law in 2016 – the mission was clear: deliver hope to patients and families suffering from diseases like cancer. We backed up this mission by giving unprecedented resources to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and accelerating the discovery, development, and delivery of new cures and treatments.

Importantly, this bill authorized $1.9 billion for the Cancer Moonshot to bolster cancer research to advance more therapies for patients, and to improve our ability to prevent cancer and detect it at an early stage. Now, NIH is using Cures funding to work with the nation’s top cancer researchers, oncologists, patient advocates, and private-sector leaders to transform the way we conduct research and discover new breakthroughs in patient care, so the progress we are making against cancer will continue.

We cannot allow this progress to turn into complacency. We all have a cancer story, and we must continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder to continue the work of Cures and deliver hope to patients.

Representatives Upton and Diana DeGette (D-CO) are joining forces once again, initiating “Cures 2.0” as another bipartisan effort that will build on the work of the 21st Century Cures Act. Click here to learn about their initiative.

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Washington Post: Cancer death rate posts biggest one-year drop ever

The cancer death rate in the United States fell 2.2 percent in 2017 — the biggest single-year drop ever reported — propelled by gains against lung cancer, the American Cancer Society said Wednesday.

Norman “Ned” Sharpless, director of the National Cancer Institute, which was not involved in the report, said the data reinforces that “we are making steady progress” on cancer. For lung cancer, he pointed to new immunotherapy treatments and so-called targeted therapies that stop the action of molecules key to cancer growth. He predicted that the mortality rate would continue to fall “as we get better at using these therapies.” Multiple clinical trials are exploring how to combine the new approaches with older ones, such as chemotherapy.

Click here to read the full article.

Health (116th Congress)