EVERY YEAR THE American Cancer Society releases its “Facts & Figures,” which as as the name indicates, is packed with facts and figures. The 2023 version is 84-pages long and filled with charts and tables that tell the story of cancers in America, state by state, cancer by cancer, and by gender, race, and ethnicity. It details how cancers inflict a brutal toll on Americans killing 1,670 people a day, approximately 609,820 per year. But there are many positive takeaways. The good—if not great—news is that there’s been enormous progress. Thanks to risk-reducing breakthroughs cutting-edge screenings, and powerful new treatments the death rate from cancers in America has declined by 33 percent in the past three decades—that’s an estimated 3.8 million lives saved! Largely, the progress is against the most common cancers—lung, prostate, colorectal, and breast. And, at least 42 percent of new cancers are potentially avoidable with the right lifestyle choices.
While there has been general progress, there are some groups whose progress is not as rapid as others. As noted in Facts and Figures, “racial and ethnic disparities in the cancer burden largely reflect long-standing inequities in socio-economic status and access to high-quality health care, which can be attributed to historical and persistent structural racism in the US experienced by all people of color.”
The government’s new Cancer Moonshot program is dedicated to closing that gap and reducing the cancer death rate by half within 25 years and that’s accelerating the rate of innovation in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
The stories in this package feature groups and people striving to close the cancer gap, explain smart lifestyle, diet, and exercise choices you can make to reduce your risk of cancer, spotlight innovations in diagnosis, and detail exciting new treatments. If you start taking your cancer risk seriously now, you’ll vastly increase your odds of surviving.
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