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April 13, 2007--Lung Cancer Alliance participated in yesterday's "Stat Chat" at the National Cancer Institute, the annual update on their collection of cancer incidence and mortality data which now includes the actual figures for 2004.
While the overall number of people getting cancer is going up, the rate - the percentage of the population being diagnosed with any kind of cancer- appears to be dropping. The percentage of men getting lung cancer continues to go down, but the picture is not as clear for women where the rate may have stabilized after increasing significantly over the past 20 years.
However, lung cancer remains the number one cancer killer by far, still accounting for more deaths each year than the other major cancers combined. The new numbers continue to show a decline in lung cancer mortality rates among men, but the mortality rate for women is still going up, although not as fast as it was before.
Brenda K. Edwards, PhD, the director of the NCI statistical division known by its acronym SEER, made a particular point of the lung cancer increases to the audience that included NCI staff and representatives of professional organizations.
In answer to a question by Sheila Ross of LCA , Dr. Edwards said that a detailed breakdown of all the figures on lung cancer by sex, race and age at diagnosis was underway and should be completed this summer.
The full 2007 NCI SEER report will be available on April 15 at www.seer.cancer.gov.