“Like all battles, you just let up a little bit and it’s all over,” he said.
Among the report’s other findings:
_Survival of childhood cancer is continuing a decades-long climb, but new diagnoses are continuing to inch upward, too.
_New cases of breast cancer had abruptly dropped in 2002 and 2003, as many women abandoned postmenopausal hormone therapy. That decline has leveled off.
_Prostate cancer marked a small uptick in diagnoses between 2005 and 2007 but not enough to be statistically significant.
_Cancer death rates remain highest among black patients, but those patients also have experienced the largest drop in deaths over the past decade.
_Among men, incidence of melanoma, liver, kidney and pancreatic cancers continues to rise. Women show increases in melanoma, leukemia, kidney, thyroid and pancreatic cancer.
_Deaths continue to rise for melanoma in men, uterine cancer in women and liver and pancreatic cancer in both.
In addition, the report provides the first in-depth look at brain tumors since the nation formally began counting non-cancerous types in 2004. That’s important, since even non-malignant brain tumors can require debilitating treatment and can kill.
Brain tumors are far more rare in children than in adults _ but the tumors are more likely to be cancerous in children and non-cancerous in adults. The researchers couldn’t explain why.
Nearly two-thirds of childhood brain tumors were malignant, compared to a third among adults.
Survival has improved for adults with any type of brain tumor and for children who experience non-cancerous kinds. But the past decade has brought no improvement in death rates for children with brain cancer.
By James A. Lyons
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