(ATLANTA) -- There will be an estimated 1,596,670 new cancer diagnoses and over half a million cancer deaths in 2011, according to the just-released American Cancer Society annual Cancer Facts and Figures report.
While rates of new diagnoses have remained mostly stable in the 2000s, the overall cancer death rates have been steadily decreasing. In fact, reduction in overall cancer death rates since 1990 adds up to almost 900,000 avoided deaths.
But there is one important deviation from this relatively stable pattern, which confirms similar findings already reported in a study published this past February: deaths from lung cancer in women have decreased. The finding is significant because while death rates for men have been steadily declining over the past 20 years, those for women have been, for the most part, increasing or have remained steady.
Experts say this lag in lung cancer trends for women compared to men is a reflection of the later increase of cigarette smoking in women, which peaked some 20 years later than in men.
One study author says the decline is expected to continue for at least two decades.
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