Thursday, September 27, 2012

They must have a really big crystal ball

The title of an article published by the BBC screams "Cancer Death Rates Set for a Dramatic Fall" by 2030. Yup. I believe it. Not until I see it. Thats 18 years from now. There are still some cancers increasing in incidence. People are still dying from cancer. Cancer rates are increasing in third world countries as well.

They state that there will be a 17% drop in the death rate due to advances in treatment and decreases in smoking rates. They predict that the death rates will drop from 170/100,000 deaths to 142/100,000 deaths. Here is the little chart showing their data in a very simplified form.

Let's put some numbers to this to see how it looks on this side of the pond.

US 2012
Predicted Deaths
%+/-estimated 2030
death rate
All cancers577,190-17%479,067
Breast cancer39,920-28%28,742
Bowel/Colon51,690-23%39,801
Kidney13,570-17%11,263
Oral7,850+22%9,577
Liver20,550+39%28,565
Lung160,340-8%14,7513
Ovary15,550-42%9,019
Pancreas37,390-3%36,268
Prostate28,170-16%23,664

So if my numbers are correct (I was not the stellar math student and claim chemo brain so there is so margin for error) while it is exciting that there is an expected 42% drop in ovarian cancer death rates, that really only 6000. This would be 100,000 fewer deaths in the US in 18 years. Or a drop of 5555 less each year. At that rate it will take 86 more years to end cancer deaths in the US. That is too long as far as I am concerned. Most of us can expect to be here in 2030 but probably very very few will be here in 2116.

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