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July 10, 2019

Screening, early detection driving decline in Delaware cancer deaths

Public health efforts are paying off, according to state report

Prevention Cancer
Cancer Chemotherapy 07102019 Source/Image licensed by Ingram Image


As the number of cancer deaths fall nationwide, health officials in Delaware say screenings and early detection are driving a similar reduction in their state.

A state Division of Public Health annual report published Monday noted dramatic improvements in “all-site mortality rate among non-Hispanic African-American men,” which dropped by 30 percent between 2001-2005 and 2011-2015, in addition to declining cancer mortality rates overall.

Delaware had the 18th highest all-site cancer mortality rate in the United States from 2011 to 2015, the report said. which represents an improvement from the last report. That rate decreased by 14 percent between 2001 and 2005 and between 2011 and 2015, which matches the trend seen nationally. 

RELATED READ: Cancer deaths falling among middle-aged Americans

Officials said they also saw a 19-percent decrease in the cancer mortality rate for Caucasian men, and a 7-percent decline for Hispanic men. For women, there was a reported 14-percent decrease in African-Americans, 13 percent in Caucasians, and 4 percent in Hispanics.

Lung cancer is reportedly the most frequently diagnosed cancer in the nation and in Delaware, accounting for 19 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer cases and 29 percent of all cancer deaths in Delaware between 2011 and 2015. 

Liver cancer, however, remains an area of concern for Delaware health officials. Mortality rates for that type of the disease are not declining, according to the report.

“We have made tremendous improvements over the years in helping Delawareans identify cancer earlier by encouraging cancer screenings, and accessing potentially life-saving treatment to improve opportunities for both short and long-term survival,” said Governor John Carney.

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