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Reproduced from a National Cancer Institute report; Chart: Axios Visuals

Death rates for lung cancer and melanoma continued to drop for men and women in the U.S. between 2014 and 2018, according to an annual report with the National Cancer Institute.

Yes, but: For several other major cancers, however, like colorectal, breast and prostate, death rates increased — or saw previous improvements stall.

State of play: American deaths from cancer — the second-leading cause of death in the U.S. — have been on the decline for years. But it's not the same across the board, particularly when it comes to cancers related to obesity.

  • Death rates among women increased for five of the most common cancers such as uterus, liver, brain and pancreas. Death rates decreased for 14 cancers.
  • For men, death rates for five cancers including bones and joints, oral cavity and pharynx, brain and pancreas increased. Death rates decreased in men for 11 cancers.

By the numbers: Cancer death rates declined overall in every racial and ethnic group since 2001, but drops have accelerated in the last five years.

  • Still, overall cancer incidence is increasing in women, children and young adults.

Be smart: The analysis observes cancer rates and deaths up to 2018, but since last year, doctors have expressed concern the pandemic will lead to an uptick in cancer incidence and deaths and scale back the progress made between different race and ethnicities with the disease.

  • The National Cancer Institute estimated there will likely be 10,000 additional deaths over the next decade due to the drop in screening and treatments of breast and colorectal cancer during the pandemic.

What's happening: Several associations and government agencies have altered screening and prevention guidance in recent months to address increasing cancer incidence.

  • Screenings for colon cancer are now recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force at 45 instead of at 50 as of May, due to the disease increasingly occurring among adults younger than 50.
  • The group also recommended in March annual lung cancer screenings be conducted on those as young as 50 and to those with shorter smoking histories than previously thought necessary.

What they're saying: “The continued decline in cancer death rates should be gratifying to the cancer research community, as evidence that scientific advances over several decades are making a real difference in outcomes at the population level,” Ned Sharpless, director of the NCI, said in a statement.

  • “I believe we could achieve even further improvements if we address obesity, which has the potential to overtake tobacco use to become the leading modifiable factor associated with cancer," he added.

Go deeper

Senators to grill top Pentagon leaders over Biden's Afghanistan exit

Photo: Carolone Brehman/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Joints Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, and the head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Frank McKenzie, are testifying publicly this week for the first time since the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Why it matters: The Pentagon's top leaders have come under intense scrutiny over the series of disasters that followed the U.S. exit, including the Taliban's seizure of Kabul, the ISIS-K terrorist attack that killed 13 U.S. service members and scores of Afghans in August, and a retaliatory U.S. drone strike that killed 10 civilians.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Maybe we can ignore inflation expectations

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Just because we expect inflation to show up, doesn't mean it will. That's the message from an important new paper throwing cold water on a central tenet of monetary economics.

Why it matters: The Fed hikes interest rates when — and only when — it thinks inflation is otherwise going to be too high. That means it needs a formula to determine where it thinks inflation is going to be. But now a senior Fed economist is saying that the key ingredient in that formula "rests on extremely shaky foundations."

3 hours ago - Technology

Facebook: Metaverse won't "move fast and break things"

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook on Monday said it will invest $50 million over two years in global research and program partners to ensure its metaverse products "are developed responsibly."

Why it matters: "It's almost the opposite of that now long-abandoned slogan of 'move fast and break things,'" Facebook's VP of global affairs Nick Clegg told Axios in an interview at The Atlantic Festival Monday.