Over the course of this year, medical professionals predict almost two million people will receive a cancer diagnosis in the United States, while the disease is expected to claim the lives of approximately 600,000 individuals.
Even so, the death toll registered in recent years represents a 25 percent lower death rate among cancer patients recorded 25 years ago. Researchers attribute the drop to the advancements in early detection, reductions in smoking, and improved treatment for individuals suffering from any form of the disease.
If the death rates remained unaltered, scientists estimate cancer would have claimed roughly two million lives between 1991 and 2014. However, more targeted therapies and better treatment protocols played an extremely important role in the survival rates of the patients with blood or lymph system malignancies, according to the American Cancer Society’s report.
Data pulled from patients diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia in the mid-70s show that individuals suffering from this particular disease only had a 41 percent probability of surviving the following five years. When compared to patients’ records of the modern era, individuals suffering from the same condition diagnosed between 2006 and 2012 had a 71 percent probability of surviving the disease. At the same time, survival rates among individuals suffering from chronic myeloid leukemia increased from 22 percent in the mid-70s to a staggering 66 percent in recent years. Furthermore, thanks to the new therapies, patients who have been diagnosed with a form of cancer before turning 65 are expected to achieve a near-normal life expectancy, reads the report.
The American Cancer Society responsible for elaborating the annual survey of cancer trends attributes the decline in cancer-related deaths to the Affordable Care Act passed under the Obama administration. Hence, over the course of five years, between 2012 and 2015, the Affordable Care Act was responsible for 11 percent more African Americans and 15 percent more Latinos gaining access to effective treatment. In spite of the positive results, however, the President-elect, Donald J. Trump, has vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act under his administration.
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