PORTLAND - A new report from the American Cancer Society has plenty of good news but also contains some discouraging results.
It shows not as many people die from cancer but when it comes to preventing it some aren’t doing enough.
The study looked at cancer deaths from 2000 to 2009. In men, death rates dropped for 10 of the most common cancers. In women death rates decreased for 15 types.
“I’m alive today because of screenings,” remarked breast cancer survivor Sherry Willmschen, “They did surgery and it was in the duct and hadn’t moved out.” Sherry now works as a patient navigator at OHSU. “Patients are hopeful they can get treatment and have good quality of life after,” she explained.
During the nine-year period, the report says cancer deaths have fallen 1.8 per cent among men and children and 1.4 per cent among women.
Experts believe the numbers might be better if more people lost weight and more teens were getting the HPV vaccine.
“We know obesity is a factor with colorectal cancer,” explained Dr. Aaron Hicks at Adventist Medical Center in Southeast Portland.
The HPV vaccine given to teens helps fight cervical and other cancers.
“It can help with anal cancer and cancers of the head and neck region like throat cancer,” said Dr. Hicks. An NBC report says a third of eligible teens get the vaccine. The American Society hopes to draw more attention to the importance of getting the vaccine and the importance of fighting obesity.
“If you catch something early and continue with treatment and a healthy lifestyle, chances are you’re going to be around to enjoy your children and grandchildren,” concluded Willmschen.