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US cancer death rate sees largest-ever single-year drop, report says – CNN

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From 2016 to 2017, the United States saw its largest-ever single-year drop in overall cancer deaths, a 2.2% plunge spurred in part by a sharp decline in lung cancer deaths, according to the report, published Wednesday in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
More people are surviving lung cancer in the US, report finds
“What is really driving that is the acceleration in the decline of mortality for lung cancer, and the reason that is encouraging is because lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, causing more deaths in the US than breast, colorectal cancer and prostate cancers combined,” said Rebecca Siegel, first author of the report and scientific director of surveillance research at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta.
“That’s really important and reflects improvements in the treatment of lung cancer across the continuum from improvements in staging to advances in surgical techniques, improvements in radiotherapy, all of these things coming together,” she said. “We were very encouraged to see that not only is the decline continuing for cancer mortality but we saw the biggest single-year drop ever from 2016 to 2017.”

Reductions in smoking, improvements in treatment

The report included data on cancer incidence, mortality and survival in the United States from sources including the National Center for Health Statistics, National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program, the National Program of Cancer Registries and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. Some of the information dates back to 1930 and the most recent data is from 2017. Using that data, the report also projects estimated numbers of new cases and deaths that could emerge in the United States in 2020.
US cancer death rate hits 25 years of decline, study saysUS cancer death rate hits 25 years of decline, study says
An analysis of the data showed that, since its peak of about 215 cancer deaths for every 100,000 people in 1991, the cancer death rate in the United States has continued to fall.
The report found an overall drop of 29% as of 2017, which translates into an estimated 2.9 million fewer cancer deaths than what would have occurred if death rates had remained at their peak, according to the report.
“We’ve had this continuous decline in the cancer death rate for the past 26 years,” Siegel said.
“The biggest driver is the reductions in smoking, but also contributing are improvements in treatment as well as early detection for some cancers, like breast and colorectal cancer,” she said. “It was exciting that we’re seeing that decline continue because for other leading causes of death like heart disease and cerebrovascular disease progress is really slowing and in fact death rates have stabilized for cerebrovascular disease,” or stroke.
Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, and cancer ranks as the second leading cause of death in the United States.
Cancer death rates drop, heart disease deaths on the rise for US adultsCancer death rates drop, heart disease deaths on the rise for US adults
The report noted that declines in death due to four major cancers — lung, breast, prostate and colorectal — reflect the progress that has been made against the disease.
As of 2017, the death rate for lung cancer dropped by 51% among men since its peak in 1990 and by 26% among women since its peak in 2002, the report found.
The report also found that, as of 2017, the death rate for female breast cancer fell 40% since its peak in 1989. The death rate for prostate cancer fell by 52% since 1993, the death rate for colorectal cancer among men fell by 53% since 1980 and the death rate for colorectal cancer among women fell by 57% since 1969.

The cancers with the highest and lowest survival rates

The report projects there will be about 1.8 million cancer cases diagnosed in the United States this year, which is equivalent to about 4,950 new cases each day, according to the report.
The lifetime probability of being diagnosed with invasive cancer is 40.1% for men and 38.7% for women, the report estimated.
The report projected that an estimated 606,520 people in the United States will die from cancer this year, which corresponds to more than 1,600 deaths per day.
Surgery tied to 44% increased survival in women with advanced breast cancerSurgery tied to 44% increased survival in women with advanced breast cancer
The data showed that cancer survival has improved since the mid-1970s for all of the most common cancers except uterine cervix and uterine corpus cancers.
The report found that the five-year relative survival rate for cancers diagnosed during 2009 through 2015, was highest for prostate cancer at 98%, melanoma of the skin at 92% and female breast cancer at 90%, but lowest for cancers of the pancreas at 9%, liver at 18%, lung at 19% and esophagus at 20%.
The report also found racial disparities in cancer survival, including that the relative risk of death after a cancer diagnosis was 33% higher in black patients then in white patients.
The cost of cancer: 25% of survivors face financial hardship, report findsThe cost of cancer: 25% of survivors face financial hardship, report finds
Overall, the rate of cancer incidence among men declined rapidly from 2007 to 2014 but then stabilized through 2016, according to the new report. Whereas, the overall cancer incidence rate among women remained generally stable in the past few decades.
The report had some limitations, including that the projections made for 2020 were based on data from three to four years ago, and should be interpreted with caution.

‘Certainly there’s a long way to go’

The findings in the new report were “very exciting” for Dr. Mark Awad, clinical director of the Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
“For many years and through today, lung cancer remains the number one cause of cancer death both in men and women in the United States, as well as globally, and so any progress that we make in terms of reducing lung cancer mortality will certainly have an impact on overall cancer death rates,” said Awad, also an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, who was not involved in the new report.
He added that, while the report shows improvements in cancer death rates, even more can be done to improve cancer screening rates, especially when it comes to lung cancer.
The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends yearly lung cancer screening for current or former smokers with a smoking history of 30 or more pack-years, which is equivalent to, for example, smoking one pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years. Those recommendations are for adults, ages 55 to 80, who either currently smoke or quit within the past 15 years.
“Screening for lung cancer among patients who are current or former smokers has been demonstrated in now numerous studies to reduce lung cancer mortality, but of the patients who meet all the eligibility criteria for screening, less than 5% of patients in the US actually get screened for lung cancer appropriately. So that’s a huge shortfall of where we need to be,” Awad said.
“I think we’ve made really important headway and progress,” he said. “But certainly there’s a long way to go.”
Can your own immune system kill cancer? Can your own immune system kill cancer?
The new report highlights both the significant progress made in reducing cancer deaths and the areas where some more work needs to be done, said Dr. Charles Fuchs, director of the Yale Cancer Center in New Haven, Connecticut, who was not involved in the report.
While improvements in cancer treatments, such as immunotherapies, have played a role in reducing cancer deaths in the United States, Fuchs said there is still much to learn about how to advance new and emerging treatment options even further. Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that helps the immune system fight the disease.
“Those treatments work for some cancers, but not all. So I think we have to better understand how can we further leverage that success to understand how to activate the immune system to attack the other major cancers,” Fuchs said.
He also said that improvements could be made in reducing racial and socioeconomic disparities, increasing cancer screening rates, such as for colon cancer, and reducing the prevalence of certain risk factors for cancer, such as overweight and obesity. It has been estimated that about 20% of all cancers are tied to excess weight.
“The bottom line is that this report is great news,” Fuchs said.
“I don’t want to overlook that fact, nor do I want to minimize that fact,” he said. “This report demonstrates extraordinary progress in our battle against cancer in terms of detection, improving treatment, improving mortality, improving screening technologies — and given that tremendous success, I’m excited about the opportunity to work toward even more improvements.”

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COVID-19 vaccines: 18% of Ottawa kids 5-11 have 1st doses – Globalnews.ca

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Nearly 14,000 Ottawa kids have gotten their first COVID-19 vaccine shots in their first week of eligibility, according to the local health unit.

Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard reports that 13,887 kids aged five to 11, representing 18 per cent of the total age group in the city, have their initial shots as of Wednesday morning.

Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s medical officer of health, said earlier this week that 40 per cent of local kids in this youngest eligible demographic have appointments booked through the provincial vaccination system. This doesn’t account for shots booked at pharmacies or doctors’ offices.

Read more:

No need for new restrictions yet in Ottawa amid Omicron cases, Dr. Etches says

City-wide, 86 per cent of the population aged five and older now have at least one dose.

Meanwhile, OPH reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, surpassing the 32,000-case mark since the start of the pandemic.

The number of active infections held relatively steady at 329 in the latest report.

There are now 11 people in hospital with COVID-19 in Ottawa, two of whom are in the intensive care unit.


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KFL&A region records tenth death from COVID-19 – Kingston News – Kingstonist

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Photo by Lucas Mulder.

The Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington region has recorded its tenth death from COVID-19. The deceased was a female in her 70s, according to provincial information.

This is the fourth death in KFL&A associated with COVID-19 this month, after a male in his 60s died on Tuesday, Nov. 23, a female in her 70s died a day later, and a female in her 80s died less than a week later.

KFL&A Public Health continue to investigate the method of transmission.

Yesterday, KFL&A Public Health reported a total of 29 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the total of active COVID-19 cases to 295, down slightly from a high of 301. According to KFL&A Public Health, as of Monday there were 19 local residents hospitalized with COVID-19, with 11 of those in intensive care and six on ventilators.

Nine others have now died from COVID-19 in the region since the beginning of the pandemic: two males aged 90 or over, a male in his 80s, two females in their 80s, a male in his 70s, a female in her 70s, a male in his 60s, and a female in her 50s.

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World AIDS Day kicks off Indigenous AIDS week in Regina – Globalnews.ca

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Dec. 1 is a day of awareness and celebration for those who are impacted with HIV/AIDS worldwide, and a local organization is using World AIDS Day to kick off Indigenous AIDS week in Regina.

All Nations Hope is a network that provides supports and services to those impacted with HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C in the city. The program director said they are dedicating a week to celebrate and focus on those impacted by HIV and AIDS.

“We dedicated each day to a group of people,” said Leona Quewezance. “We will have something special for them every day.”

Read more:

Saskatchewan government apologizes after World AIDS Day tweet draws ire

Quewezance said during the week-long activities, they will also be testing those who wish to be tested.

“We encourage people to get tested, if they wish that,” she said. “We would like access them to link them into care for treatment and support.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it was difficult to focus testing on HIV/AIDS in the city. However, All Nations Hope have took it upon themselves to find data within Regina.

“For the past nine months…people had issues accessing testing,” said Quewezance. “We did testings on Wednesdays for the last nine months and the nurse seen approximately 316 people. We had 21 new HIV identifying cases and eight new cases for syphilis.”

In a statement, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health stated in 2019, Saskatchewan had roughly triple the national average of newly-diagnosed HIV cases at 16.4 per 100,000, while the national rate was 5.6 per 100,000 people.

Read more:

History shows COVID-19 may fade out, but likely won’t disappear

“Preliminary data indicates there were 185 cases of HIV identified in 2020, a decrease of seven per cent, down from 199 cases in 2019,” according to the statement.

“However, testing numbers for 2020 are lower, likely due to fewer public HIV testing events, front-line health-care providers being focused on COVID-19 response, and fewer individuals presenting for testing due to the pandemic.”

Work through All Nations Hope will continue to break down the stigma attached to HIV and AIDS and will provide awareness is all year round, not just one day out of the year.

“The people that are living with HIV and AIDS are no different than us,” said Quewezance. “They are no different than people living with diabetes and any other kinds of illnesses. They are people just the same as we are.”

The province said work initiated through the HIV Strategy continues and is supported by annual Ministry of Health funding of approximately $4.86M to support HIV services in the Saskatchewan Health Authority and community-based organizations.


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Saskatchewan government apologizes after World AIDS Day tweet draws ire – Dec 2, 2020

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