Cancer treatments

By the numbers: Inequality impacts U.S. cancer death rates

By addressing health disparities from socioeconomic issues that continue to be prevalent in the U.S., there could be an estimated 25% reduction in overall cancer death rates.


A north-south divide can be seen in this example of health disparities. From Siegel RL, Jemal A, Wender RC, et al (2018). Data: Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Health Statistics; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Why it matters: The health care disparities caused by poverty, racism, unhealthy foods, lack of exercise, low-quality health care and lower education levels are creating "highly variable" outcomes in what is generally a 25-year decline in cancer death rates, Otis Brawley, the American Cancer Society's chief medical officer, tells Axios.

Growing evidence implicates herpes viruses in Alzheimer's

Microscope pictures of the herpes virus cells
Human herpes virus taken with transmission electron microscopy. Photo: BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

Beyond the chicken pox and flu, viruses are increasingly believed to play a role in other serious diseases, like cancer and brain diseases.

Case in point: Researchers announced today in Neuron that they found more live herpes viruses in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease than in those without the disorder. This doesn't prove the virus causes the fatal neurodegenerative disease 5.7 million Americans currently live with, but it suggests it plays a role in Alzheimer's pathology and may inform treatment.