The big news in Austin is tomorrow’s CNN debate at the University of Texas between Senators Clinton and Obama. There’s a group of die hard LIVESTRONG Army volunteers who will be there campaign-style with signs and yellow T-shirts to get the message out – voters in Texas want to know the candidates’ plans to fight cancer. Thanks, guys!
Their and all of our efforts to keep cancer front and center in this election have never been more relevant. I saw this AP article today and it’s clear we’re still fighting an uphill battle. 559,312 Americans lost to cancer in 2005, tragic, deplorable and sadly in many cases, preventable. And the number of the fallen is rising.
Shout it from the rooftops, folks: We need our next President to make a commitment to renewing the war against cancer.
And tune in tomorrow to read my op ed in the Austin American Statesman on this topic.
U.S. Cancer Deaths Increase
February 20, 2008; Page D7
U.S. cancer deaths rose by more than 5,000 in 2005, a reversal of a two-year downward trend, the American Cancer Society said in a report issued yesterday.
The group counted 559,312 people who died from cancer.
The cancer death rate among the overall population continued to fall, but only slightly, after a couple of years of more dramatic decline.
In 2005, there were just under 184 cancer deaths per 100,000 people, down from nearly 186 the previous year. Experts said it wasn’t surprising that the rate would stabilize.
The cancer death rate has been dropping since the early 1990s, and early in this decade was declining by about 1% a year. The actual number of cancer deaths kept rising, however, because of the growing population.
It was big news when the rate dropped by 2% in both 2003 and 2004, enough to cause the total number of cancer deaths to fall for the first time since 1930. President Bush and others hailed that as a sign that federally funded research was making strides against the disease.
But now the death rate decline is back to 1%. And the 2005 numbers show annual cancer deaths are no longer falling, but are up more than 5,400 since 2004.
“The declining rate was no longer great enough to overcome the increase in population,” said Elizabeth Ward, a co-author of the cancer society report.
It may be that cancer screenings are not having as big an effect as they were a few years ago, said Dr. Peter Ravdin, a research professor in biostatistics at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.