Though cancer has dethroned heart disease as the top killer among Americans under the age of 85, evidence shows deaths from both have actually improved.
For heart disease particularly, death rates have drastically declined. According to a 2002 study (the most current study available), 476,009 Americans under 85 died of cancer, while 450,637 died of heart disease. And while the very oldest Americans continue to die of heart disease more than cancer, a reverse trend is expected to occur by 2018.
Why Heart Disease Death Rates Have Fallen
One possible explanation for this decrease in heart disease deaths is there seems to be fewer smokers than in the past: Between 1965 and 2000, smoking among adults fell from 42 percent to 22 percent.
The decline in heart disease deaths has also been said to reflect the improved surgical techniques and devices -- as well as better drugs to treat heart problems and control high blood pressure -- for those suffering from heart disease.
A 1 percent decline in cancer death rates per year (since 1999) has been accredited to earlier detection, prevention efforts and better treatments; however, cancer still remains a recurrent disease among Americans. For 2005 alone:
It is estimated 1,372,910 new cancer cases and 570,260 cancer deaths will occur; five-year survival rates have risen from 50 percent to 74 percent from the 1970s
Lung cancer remains the biggest killer, estimated to claim the lives of 163,510 people
About 232,090 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, killing 30,350
Some 211,240 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, killing 40,410
USA Today January 20, 2005
A report issued by the American Cancer Society in January last year found a staggering 156 Americans PER HOUR were diagnosed with cancer, and more than a half-million people were predicted to die from it by the end of 2004. With statistics like these (and the one's highlighted in the above article) it's no surprise cancer has been named the top killer of Americans under the age of 85.
Fortunately, there are steps you can follow to avoid becoming another victim of this "serial killer." By following these simple strategies, you can be sure optimize your health so you won't fall stricken with cancer this year ... or ever.
The first strategy is to avoid sugar whenever possible. What you need to understand is that sugar feeds cancer. This has been known for nearly 100 years now. In fact they gave the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1931 to a German physician for discovering this. Unfortunately, most contemporary oncologists fail to appreciate this basic concept and do not advise patients to avoid sugar.
I understand that it is not a surprise to learn that sugar is harmful to you, but you may be surprised to find out how many ways it is. You can learn more ways sugar can damage your body, by reading: 124 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health.
Next, please have your vitamin D levels checked as soon as possible. There is a mountain of scientific evidence that clearly show how powerful an influence vitamin D is on the prevention and treatment of cancer. Optimal vitamin D levels works dramatically in preventing many cancers, especially breast, prostate and colon cancers.
Most of us have vitamin D levels that are far too low. The best way to bring these levels back up is by exposing your skin to sunshine, something most of us can and should do in the summer. There is strong evidence that the long-standing recommendation of avoiding sun exposure has increased cancer deaths, not just non-fatal skin cancers, by more than 50,000 per year in the United States due to lowered vitamin D levels.
Finally, if you want to prevent cancer it is important to work on balancing your ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fats by taking a premium krill oil every day.