Encouraging dip in rate of new cancers, deaths

The rate of new cancer cases finally may be inching down — cautiously optimistic news but a gain that specialists worry could be derailed by economic turmoil. Death rates from cancer have been dropping slowly for years, thanks to earlier detection and better treatments. But preventing cancer is the ultimate goal, and Tuesday’s annual “Report to the Nation” on cancer also shows a small but encouraging change: The rate of new diagnoses among men dropped 1.8 percent a year between 2001 and 2005.

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