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Lung Cancer Rates on the Decline

The number of those who smoke may not be decreasing as much as public health professionals would like, but here's some really good news for Americans: the rate of new lung cancer cases is on the decline. In fact, after increasingly steadily for decades, lung cancer in women decreased nationwide between 2006 and 2008, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additionally, men in 35 states and women in six states between 1999 and 2008 had a decline in lung cancer rates, too.

The decline in lung cancer rate is linked to a decrease in smoking over the years, according to the CDC report. Typically, when smoking rates decline, researchers see lung cancer rates drop in as little as five years. The report also notes that anti-smoking strategies have been working, and that it's important to continue these public health efforts as they can add up to significant savings in smoking-related health care costs and lives saved. 

In both men and women, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. In fact, lung cancer claims more lives each year than colon, prostate, ovarian, lymph and breast cancers combined, according to the Mayo Clinic. And people who smoke have the greatest risk of lung cancer. Need to kick the bad habit? Check out our stop-smoking tips!

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