Cancer Rates Falling

The rate of new cancer cases is finally inching down. The annual "Report to the Nation" shows new diagnoses among men dropped 1.8 percent a year between 2001 and 2005.

For women, the dip was just over half a percent a year. Death rates are also dropping according to a report published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Meanwhile, a new study raises the possibility that some breast cancers may go away on their own.

Researchers from Norway and Dartmouth University compared breast cancer rates among women screened every two years from 1996 to 2001, to women who were screened once at the end of a six-year study period. They found over twenty percent more breast cancer cases among women who were routinely screened, suggesting some of the women who were not screened as often had cancer at one point but it went away by the time they got a mammogram.

Experts say many more studies are needed but the theory of spontaneous regression may be a real possibility.


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