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Cancer Deaths Top Cardiovascular Disease In Nearly Half the U.S.

The American Cancer Society estimates more than 20 million people will find themselves living beyond a diagnosis of cancer by the year 2026. That figure shows strong progress in America’s battle against this disease. Researchers say, however, that the news isn’t as rosy as it could be. According to recently released data, cancer deaths surpassed those attributed to cardiovascular disease in 22 states. The numbers come from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and represent figures from 2014, the most recent year data is available for.

The number of states were cardiovascular disease has been toppled as the number one killer rose dramatically between 2000 and 2014, the government reports. In 2000, there were only two states where cancer deaths beat the number attributed to cardiovascular disease.

While the numbers are potentially alarming, researchers say they must be put into context. The number of deaths attributed to cardiovascular disease have been on the decline for years. At the same time, the American population has been aging, potentially giving rise to the figures witnessed today.

The American Cancer Society estimates about 1.7 million new cases of non-skin cancer related cancer will be diagnosed across the country in the coming year. More than 500,000 people are anticipated to die cancer-related deaths. Although not always preventable, clinicians say there are many steps people can take to lower their risks. Eating a healthy diet, exercising, maintaining weight, refraining from smoking and limiting alcohol consumption may all help lower risks for some of the leading causes of cancer death.

People who are concerned about cancer and their risks should speak with their healthcare providers. A family doctor can help patients explore risk factors while offering insights on routine screening and other important measures. While cancer has topped cardiovascular disease in deaths in many states, positive personal action may help change those numbers.

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