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US cancer rates drop, but obesity remains a risk

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US cancer rates drop, but obesity remains a risk

A recent article in The New York Times shared some rare positive news about cancer death rates: between 2016-2017, the cancer death rate in the United States decreased by 2.2 percent. Since 1991, the rate has dropped 29 percent, with 2.9 million fewer cancer deaths. The drop in cancer deaths is due to multiple reasons, including lower smoking rates and advances in cancer treatments, especially for lung and skin cancers.

There are a few types of cancer, however, where the decrease in numbers and progress has stalled, including breast, colorectal and prostate cancers. Medical experts explain that this is linked to the rising rate of obesity among Americans. In fact, many doctors consider today’s obesity problem to be parallel to what smoking was in past decades. Studies show that obesity, unhealthy diets and a lack of physical activity are linked with chronic inflammation and increased risk of cancer diagnosis. According to the American Cancer Society, you can help reduce your risk of cancer by making healthy choices like eating right, staying active and not smoking. It’s also important to follow recommended screening guidelines, which can help detect certain cancers early.

Read more about recent cancer trends here.