“While this report found that five-year survival for most types of cancer improved among both blacks and whites over the past several decades, racial disparities for many common cancers have persisted, and they may have increased for prostate cancer and female breast cancer,” said Lynne T. Penberthy, M.D., M.P.H., associate director of NCI’s Surveillance Research Program. “We still have a lot of work to do to understand the causes of these differences, but certainly differences in the kinds and timing of recommended treatments are likely to play a role.”

“This report found that tobacco-related cancers have low survival rates, which underscores the importance of continuing to do what we know works to significantly reduce tobacco use,” said Lisa C. Richardson, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. “In addition, every state in the nation has an adult obesity prevalence of 20 percent or more. With obesity as a risk factor for cancer, we need to continue to support communities and families in prevention approaches that can help reverse the nation’s obesity epidemic. We need to come together to create interventions aimed at increasing the uptake of recommended, effective cancer screening tests, and access to timely cancer care.”

The authors also stated that more attention and resources are needed to identify major risk factors for common cancers, such as colorectal, breast, and prostate, as are concerted efforts to understand the increasing incidence trends in uterine, female breast, and pancreatic cancer.

“The continued drops in overall cancer death rates in the United States are welcome news, reflecting improvements in prevention, early detection, and treatment,” said Betsy A. Kohler, M.P.H., C.T.R., executive director of NAACCR. “But this report also shows us that progress has been limited for several cancers, which should compel us to renew our commitment to efforts to discover new strategies for prevention, early detection, and treatment, and to apply proven interventions broadly and equitably.”

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