Cancer deaths decline

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC News) – Fewer Americans are dying of cancer, in part because more people are sticking to New Year’s resolutions.

“They might not be drinking as much alcohol. They may have lost some weight. They may exercise more,” says the American Cancer Society’s Dr. Len Lichtenfeld.

The American Cancer Society reports a steady decline in cancer mortality over the past quarter century, resulting in a 27-percent drop in the overall cancer death rate.

Credit also goes to drops in cigarette smoking, as well as advances in early detection and treatment of the most common cancers.

Economically poor areas still have much higher rates of cancer mortality.

“If you don’t have the economic resources, if you don’t have the access to get the latest treatments, that’s where the problem is,” Dr. Lichtenfeld notes.

Meanwhile, overall death rates rose for cancers of the liver, pancreas and uterus, all obesity-related diseases.

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