“By 2050 the death rates from malignant melanoma will have decreased from their current levels but the numbers of people dying from the disease will have increased due to the aging of populations.
“However, if new treatments for the deadly skin cancer prove to be effective, the numbers of deaths could fall too, according to research presented at the European Cancer Congress 2017 today (Sunday).
“Ms Alice Koechlin, from the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France, told the meeting that people who were at highest risk of dying from melanoma were those born between 1900 and 1960 when not only were the dangerous effects of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight largely unknown, but also health professionals believed that sunshine was positively beneficial.”
“From 1973 to 2010 in the U.S., large reductions in breast cancer-specific death hazards were experienced in women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, a comprehensive analysis of breast cancer survival data now shows.
“Although overall age-adjusted breast cancer mortality rates were stable initially, they decreased by almost one-third, from 33.5% in 1988 to 23.5% in 2010, reported Mitchell Gail, MD, PhD, senior investigator, biostatistics branch, division of cancer epidemiology and genetics, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Md., and colleagues online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
“Improvements were evident in women younger than age 70 years with distant stage at time of diagnosis, as well as in those with local and regional disease. Tumor size usually accounted for more of the improvement in the first 5 years after diagnosis rather than later on, the researchers said.
” ‘Breast cancer mortality rates following diagnosis have been decreasing over four decades, not only in the first five years after diagnosis but thereafter,’ Gail told MedPage Today. ‘Little of the improvement could be explained by changes in tumor size or estrogen-receptor (ER) status over time in women under age 70. This suggests a major contribution from treatment for these women.’ “
“An online computer programme that helps to predict the most suitable treatment for breast cancer has been found to underestimate the number of women under 40 who will die from the disease by 25 per cent, according to a study published in the British Journal of Cancer today.
“Researchers carried out an evaluation of the PREDICT computer programme which was developed after studying thousands of UK women of all ages with breast cancer.
“The programme itself has been well validated as a predictor of prognosis. However its accuracy among young women – who represent less than five percent of all breast cancer cases in the UK – might be affected by the fact that data from only a small number of young women were included when the programme was developed, and this could be making its five-year predictions for patients in this age group less accurate. The disease can behave differently in younger women compared with older patients and can sometimes be more aggressive.
“Researchers from Southampton and Cambridge, supported by Cancer Research UK and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, looked at how accurately the PREDICT online programme estimates the number of deaths in patients diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 41.”
“A high-dose radiotherapy schedule did not improve overall survival (OS) compared with the standard dose in men with stage II localized prostate cancer. But, local disease control and rates of distant metastasis were improved.
“After a median follow-up of 7 years, the 5-year OS rates were 88% and 89% in the high-dose and standard radiotherapy arms, and the 10-year OS rates were 67% and 66% in the high-dose and standard arms, respectively (P = .87).
“The results (Abstract 4) of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 0126 phase III trial were presented by Jeff M. Michalski, MD, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, at the 2015 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.
“ ‘Disappointingly, we did not see an improvement in OS as we had hoped,’ Michalski told Cancer Network. ‘Dose escalation did not significantly decrease the rate of death from prostate cancer.’ ”
“The latest annual report from the American Cancer Society shows that death rates from cancer in the US are continuing to fall, ‘giving reasons to celebrate but not to stop,’ according to the voluntary health organization whose goal is the eradication of cancer.
“In figures to be published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, the American Cancer Society (ACS) show how the death rate from cancer in the US has dropped by 22% since its peak in 1991.
“They say this means about 1.5 million deaths from cancer have been avoided in the last 20 years.
“The ACS estimate that in 2015, the US will see a total of 1,658,370 new cancer cases and 589,430 deaths due to the disease.
“Cancer was responsible for nearly 1 in 4 deaths in the US in 2011, making it the second leading cause of death overall -close behind heart disease.”
“Moderate physical activity appears to reduce death rates among men diagnosed with prostate cancer that hasn’t spread, according to a 15-year study by Swedish researchers.
“The results, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers Prevention, are encouraging say experts, but need confirming in larger trials.
“The study looked at 4,623 men in Sweden, who were diagnosed with localised prostate cancer between 1997 and 2002, and followed them until 2012.
“They completed questionnaires about their levels of exercise. 561 of the men died during the study, 194 of them from prostate cancer.
“Analysis showed that men who did the equivalent to walking or cycling for 20 or more minutes a day were 30 per cent less likely to have died from any cause, and 39 per cent less likely to have died of prostate cancer.”
“About 14.5 million U.S. cancer survivors are alive today, compared to just 3 million in 1971, the American Association for Cancer Research [AACR] reported Tuesday.
“These individuals amount to 4 percent of the population and include nearly 380,000 survivors of childhood cancer, according to the association’s annual progress report. The paper outlines advances in prevention, identification, research and treatment of cancer and details some of the challenges ahead.
“But these numbers can be somewhat misleading unless they take into account advances in identifying cancers earlier, said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.
“Survival rates refer to how long a person lives with cancer (including in remission) while mortality rates refer to the death rate, but survival will be longer if the cancer is found earlier, even if the person dies at the same time they would have.
” ‘People don’t want to live longer with cancer,’ Brawley said. ‘They want to not die with cancer.’ But he said mortality rates have also seen big drops, including an overall decline of 22 percent in cancer deaths from 1991 to 2011.”
“Death rates for breast, bowel, lung and prostate cancer combined have fallen by almost a third (30 per cent) in the last 20 years according to the latest Cancer Research UK figures released today (Monday).
“The figures* during this period highlight how research has had a powerful impact in beating cancer.
“Breast cancer scientists have been responsible for improving detection of the disease through screening, developing more specialist care and more effective treatments – such as improved surgery, radiotherapy and drugs like tamoxifen and, more recently, anastrozole and letrozole. Around 15,000 died of the disease 20 years ago compared with 11,600 now.”