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US cancer death rate in decline but problem areas remain

By Nick Taylor , 07-Jul-2011

Cancer death rates are in decline in the US but, as our interactive map shows, the situation varies from site-to-site and state-to-state.

A report published in February found that a downwards mortality trend that began in the early 1990s continued through the last decade.

"It is gratifying to see the continued steady decline in overall cancer incidence and death rates in the US – the result of improved methods for preventing, detecting, and treating several types of cancer", said Harold Varmus, National Cancer Institute director.

Although the situation has improved there are still problems. In particular, mortality gaps exist between some racial and ethnic groups, suggesting that avoidable deaths still occur, said the February report.

The map below can be filtered to show the cumulative risk of different cancer sites using the drop down menu.

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