CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The American Cancer Society reports that for the 28th consecutive year the number of deaths due to cancer has decreased, but the really exciting news is the number of deaths, year to year, decreased by record levels.
19 News spoke to Dr. Ted Teknos, president of the Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals, to gain better insight on the highly encouraging data.
“When you look at a 2.2% decrease in one year, that is the largest decrease in cancer deaths in human history and it doesn’t get much more exciting than that,” he said.
It is the belief of Dr. Teknos that advancements made in the treatment options of cancer have led to the decrease in the number of deaths.
Investment into research involving genetic therapy has been crucial to keeping patients alive.
“It unlocked the mysteries of cancer and we’ve been able to identify therapies that target genes, that are essentially feeding the cancers. So, we’ve created these targeted therapies,” Dr. Teknos said.
Along with gene therapy, Dr. Teknos believes unlocking our own immune systems has led to increased cancer survival rates.
Cancer cells are able to make themselves invisible to our immune systems, and immunotherapy involves unlocking our immune system to fight the cancer.
The American Cancer Society reports that men are diagnosed most with prostate cancer and women are diagnosed most with breast cancer, but the leading cause of cancer deaths is due to lung cancer.