U.S. cancer death rate drops by largest amount on record

The cancer death rate in the United States fell by 2.2% from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop ever recorded, according to the latest report from the American Cancer Society. The decline is largely driven by progress against lung cancer, though the most rapid declines in the report occurred in melanoma.

The cancer death rate in the United States fell by 2.2% from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop ever recorded, according to the latest report from the American Cancer Society. The decline is largely driven by progress against lung cancer, though the most rapid declines in the report occurred in melanoma. Experts say that advances in treatment are helping improve survival rates in the two cancers. Declining smoking rates have played a big role in the decline in lung-cancer deaths, according to cancer doctors, as well as improvements in detection and treatment. Roche, Bristol and other drug makers have spent tens of billions of dollars in recent years developing new therapies and new generations of the treatments. The $123 billion worldwide cancer drugs market is among the industry's largest and fastest growing, which has prompted companies to increase their research. Despite the progress, cancer remains the second-leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease.