Cancer death rates falling, but not benefitting everyone

June 20, 2011

An unidentified 15-year-old girl in Brookline, Mass., takes a drag in front of her school. If her male friends who smoke don’t go to college, they’ll be more likely to keep smoking. (Angela Rowlings /Associated Press)

Cancer death rates for the least educated segment of the population, for example, are now 2.5 times that of the most educated. And the gap in death rates between college graduates and those who only went to high school is widening.

We pull out the other most important numbers from the report below:

1,596,670: New cancer cases expected in the U.S. in 2011.

898,000: People who would have died prematurely from cancer in the past 17 years but did not because of declines in cancer death rates.

571,950: Cancer death expected in the U.S. in 2011

2.5/2.6 percent: Annual decrease in cancer rate since 1998 for black and Hispanic men, respectively. These groups have had the largest annual decreases in cancer death rates.

26 percent of cancer deaths for women will be due to lung cancer.

28 percent of cancer deaths for men will be due to lung cancer.

31 percent of men with 12 or fewer years of education are smokers, compared with 12 percent of college graduates and 5 percent of men with advanced degrees.

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