A report from the nation’s top cancer groups finds our risk of getting and dying from cancer continues to drop while survival rates for many cancers are improving. Kerry Finnegan, Iowa spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society, says the report contains “wonderful news.” Finnegan says overall cancer death rates for all racial and ethnic populations combined declined by one-point-one percent per year from 1993 to 2001 and it’s declining for many of the top 15 cancers for men and women. Also, lung cancer death rates for women has leveled off for the first time after rising for many decades. Finnegan says a one-point-one percent decline may not sound like much — until you consider how many people get cancer. Nearly 16-thousand Iowans will be diagnosed with cancer this year and 65-hundred will die from it, though Finnegan expects the numbers to gradually fall, mirroring the national report. She says Iowans are clearly responding to recommendations that they make some lifestyle changes that can improve their odds.Physical activity and nutrition play important roles, as does quitting smoking and having annual checkups with the doctor. The report reflects progress in prevention, early detection, and treatment. Finnegan says people are “getting the message and taking care of their bodies.” For more information, surf to “www.cancer.org”.
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