Why Has The Cancer Death Rate Dropped?

According to a recent report from the American Cancer Society.

According to a new report from the American Cancer Society, death rates from cancer “have dropped 25% since 1991.” One way to put this staggering statistic is that, if not for the decrease, about two million more people would have died from cancer through 2014.

The report, published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, links the decreases in part to dropping death rates in the four leading types of cancer: lung, breast, prostate and colorectal.

Additionally, the report suggests that cutbacks in smoking, early detection and improving treatments are an aspect of the decrease in cancer death rates.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

“We’re making a lot of progress,” lead author Rebecca Siegel, strategic director of surveillance information services at the American Cancer Society told TIME. However, Siegel notes that rises in other causes of death, namely those linked to obesity — such as heart disease — have not yet been measured: “We don’t know when we’re going to see the effects of the tripling of the obesity rate in the past several decades.”

Read more on TIME.