SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The American Cancer Society says more people are surviving cancer that goes for men, women, and children.
Overall, mortality rates continue to decline according to the annual report on the status of cancer in the U.S.
“These advances are small but significant and they don’t come easy,” said Dr. Tim Yeatman.
Dr. Yeatman is a physician-scientist and surgical oncologist at Intermountain Healthcare he says the report is encouraging news and can be attributed to a combination of factors including early screening and prevention.
“Prevention meaning best diet, stop smoking, reduce alcohol intake avoid red meat,” said Dr. Yeatman.
Technology has improved.
“We have all sorts of instruments today we didn’t have 10, 20 years ago: robotics new types of scalpels new types of cauteries.”
Better drugs have improved outcomes.
“There is a whole new class of drugs immuno oncology to wake up the immune system. You really need to talk to your doctor about clinical trials today. Clinical trials offer you drugs there you can’t get anywhere else.”
The research, however, uncovered a higher death rate in women compared to men and more incidents of invasive cancers among women in the 20-49 age group.
Dr. Yeatman says overall the future looks bright for cancer care and patients survival rates with advancements in medicine.
“Here’s technology we haven’t seen yet and there’s host of new drugs to unleash the immune system in the future. We’re seeing in childhood cancers, for example, many many children cured of cancer in adults we need to make those great strides. In children it came through clinical trials more adults need to participate in clinical trials in the future they offer the hope and promise of a cure.”
Dr. Yeatman says there’s been an explosion in DNA technology and believes there will one day be blood-based cancer screenings to detect and predict who is at risk for certain cancers.
This report was a joint effort with the National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease and Prevention, the CDC among others. The study appears in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.