Lung Cancer Still No. 1 Cause of Cancer Deaths

An estimated 552,000 cancer deaths are expected to occur in the United States in 2000, according to the American Cancer Society.

Lung, breast and prostate cancers will continue to be the top three cancer killers of Americans in the year 2000, according to a report released by the American Cancer Society (ACS).

Overall, "an estimated 1,200,100 new cancer cases and 552,000 deaths are expected to occur in the United States this year," according to an ACS statement.

Lung cancer will remain the No. 1 cause of cancer death among both men and women, killing an estimated 156,900 Americans.

However, experts noted that between 1992 and 1996, lung cancer death rates "declined significantly among men, while rates for women were still increasing."

Breast cancer will continue to be second leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women in 2000, claiming an estimated 40,800 lives. The ACS now recommends that all women over 40 years of age undergo annual mammography screening.

Prostate cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in men, is expected to take the lives of 31,900 Americans in the year ahead.

Cancer Society officials estimate that 180,400 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed with rates for the disease remaining "significantly higher in black men than in white men."

The ACS reports a few disturbing trends in term of cancer prevention. For instance, although tobacco use in adults has slowed, youth tobacco use continues to increase.

Additionally, breast cancer screening rates appear to vary widely accrues the country. For example, 43.3 percent of Arkansas women over 50 year of age underwent mammography screening in 1999, compared to the 72 percent in Massachusetts.

The ACS believes an improvement in America's eating habits could help with the prevention of some cancers.

"Less than 23.7 percent of adults report eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day," said ACS.

According to ACS, many studies suggest that low-fat, high-fiber diets can help prevent colorectal and other cancers.

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