US high-risk cancer rates dropping, but obesity tumours lurk

By Incorrect Author 8 December 2009

According to federal government figures, rates of cancer in the US have slowed over six years, both for deaths from the disease and new diagnoses. Four of the big cancer killers, lung, colon, prostate, and breast, have declined most. This is wonderful news, which specialists attribute to declines in cigarette smoking, better and earlier cancer detection methods, and improved treatments, particularly those matched to a specific tumour type. New diagnoses for all types of cancer decreased almost 1% a year on average from 1999 to 2006, while cancer deaths decreased 1.6% a year from 2001 to 2006. But experts fear these successes could be wiped out by the nation's obesity crisis, as fat cells fuel tumour growth, with about one-third of cancer cases now linked to obesity. Read more: Business Week