|| Report Highlights
The nation is making progress toward major cancer-related Healthy People 2010 targets.
- Death rates for the four most common cancers (prostate, breast, lung, and colorectal), as well as for all cancers combined, continue to decline.
- The rate of cancer incidence has declined since the early 1990s.
- Adult cigarette smoking prevalence has been slowly declining since 1991, with some evidence of a steeper decline for females than males. However, overall prevalence has not declined since 2004.
- The long-term trend in smoking rates among adolescents since the late 1990s appears to be heading downward, but this trend must be accelerated, especially since the most recent data point in 2005 suggests a possible flattening of this declining trend.
- Substantial decreases in secondhand smoke exposure have been realized since the beginning of the 1990s across a variety of measures (biological measures as well as work place policies, home rules and, most recently, through state as well as local smoke-free indoor air legislation).
The nation is losing ground in other important areas that demand attention.
- The incidence rates of cancer of the liver, pancreas, kidney, esophagus, and thyroid have continued to rise, as have the rates of new cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, myeloma, and childhood cancers. The incidence rates of cancer of the brain and bladder and melanoma of the skin in women, and testicular cancer in men, are rising.
- Lung cancer death rates in women continue to rise, but not as rapidly as before. Death rates for cancer of the esophagus and thyroid in men, as well as of the liver, are increasing.
- While progress has been made in all segments of the population, subgroups including children living in smokers' homes and subgroups of nonsmoking workers (for example, blue collar occupations and hospitality industry) have higher rates of exposure to secondhand smoke.
- More people are overweight and obese, and leisure time physical activity is increasing only slightly, if at all.
- Alcohol consumption has been rising slightly since the mid 1990s. Fruit and vegetable intake is not increasing and remains relatively stable. Red meat and fat consumption are stable as well.
- Cancer treatment spending continues to rise along with total health care spending.
- Unexplained cancer-related health disparities remain among population subgroups. For example, Blacks and people with low socioeconomic status have the highest rates of both new cancers and cancer deaths.
- Mammography rates dropped slightly between 2003–2005, especially for women 50–64. This will be monitored when data for 2008 are released to see whether this is a trend or just an aberration. Screening for colorectal cancer remains low, despite its proven effectiveness, though use is increasing.