According to the American Cancer Society, “the largest single-year drop ever recorded” for cancer deaths in America took place from 2016-17 in the amount of a 2.2 percentage point decrease. This is the most recent time period that data is available.

What’s more is that since 1991, cancer deaths have declined by a whopping 29 percent!

The main reasons for the decline in mortality rates are due to decreasing smoking rates, increased means of early detection through prescreening, and improvements in drugs and radiation therapy.

The Wall Street Journal reports that:

“For melanoma, the report singles out the emergence of drugs like Roche Holding AG ’s Zelboraf that target the molecular roots of tumors and therapies like Yervoy from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., which enlist a patient’s own immune system in the cancer fight.

“Roche, Bristol and other drug makers have spent tens of billions of dollars in recent years developing new therapies such as Zelboraf, Yervoy and new generations of the treatments. The $123 billion world-wide cancer drugs market is among the industry’s biggest and fastest growing, which has prompted companies to double down on their research and promises even more agents that could make a dent against tumors.”

While there is a lot of scaremongering out there on the affects that modern living and technology is having on cancer rates, the Cancer Facts & Figures 2020 report says: “Almost 1 in 5 cancers is caused by excess body fat, alcohol consumption, poor nutrition, and a sedentary lifestyle.” Smoking and tobacco use are a huge factor as well.

While there is still much to be done in the fight against cancer, this is certainly a promising development.

You can read more about the story in the Wall Street Journal here, and you can access the Cancer Facts & Figures report here.

CFACT lost our founding president David Rothbard to cancer and miss him every day.  We applaud every advance. — Ed.


  • CFACT, founded in 1985 by Craig Rucker and the late (truly great) David Rothbard, examines the relationship between human freedom, and issues of energy, environment, climate, economics, civil rights and more.