updated 9:52 PM EDT, Mar 26, 2015
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110,000 New Cancer Cases Recorded in Texas in 2012

Rates Falling in U.S., but Challenges Remain

By John Michaelson

Texas News Service

AUSTIN, Texas - There is good news in the battle against cancer in the United States, although the latest data show serious challenges remain on several fronts.

Greg Cameron, director of communications and market strategies for the High Plains Division of the American Cancer Society in Texas, says overall death rates continue to decline for all of the most common cancers, including lung, colon, prostate and breast.

"This has been going on since the 1990s - the early 1990s, actually. So, this last report shows that from the year 2000 to 2009, cancer death rates have decreased in men, women and children."

The report says the types of cancers for which the death rates have continued to increase during the past decade include liver, pancreas, uterus and - among men - melanoma of the skin. In Texas, it's estimated there were 110,000 new cancer cases diagnosed last year, along with nearly 37,000 deaths.

Lung cancer remains the deadliest of all the types, both in the state and nationally. To help reduce that in Texas, Cameron says, the society is pushing for approval of a statewide smoke-free indoor workplace law.

"Several other states have done that and, statistically, those smoking rates have lowered and their lung cancer death rates have declined. So, we're hoping that 2013 may be the year that our state will go smoke-free."

The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer is online at seer.cancer.gov.