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US cancer death rate drops a quarter since 1991

Posted: 1:00 PM, Jan 06, 2017
Updated: 2017-01-06 18:00:34Z

Fewer Americans are dying from the  second biggest killer  in the U.S.: cancer.

New numbers from the  American Cancer Society  show from 1991 to 2014, the cancer death rate has dropped by a quarter.

That means there were about 2 million fewer cancer deaths than expected if cancer death rates stayed at their peak.

The big overall drop is fueled by decreasing death rates from  four major types of cancer : lung, breast, colorectal and prostate.

The American Cancer Society's report says those encouraging numbers are because of better screening, better treatment and fewer smokers.

The society's chief medical officer said in a statement, "The continuing drops in the cancer death rate are a powerful sign of the potential we have to reduce cancer's deadly toll."

But there's still a long way to go. The organization estimates this year, the U.S. will have nearly 1.7 million new cancer cases and over 600,000 cancer deaths.