+
upworthy
Health

Cancer deaths are down an incredible 33% since 1991. Here’s why.

More breakthroughs are on the horizon.

cancer deaths, cancer mortality, smoking

An X-ray of a cancerous lung.

There’s great news from the war on cancer. A new report from the American Cancer Society shows that the cancer death rate has fallen 33% since 1991. An estimated 3.8 million deaths have been averted due to the decline. The study was based on the most recent data available from 2020.

Currently, the top six causes of death in the U.S. are heart disease, cancer, COVID-19, accidents, stroke and chronic lower respiratory diseases.

“The biggest reason for the decline that started in 1991 was the prevalence of smoking in the United States started going down in 1965,” said Dr. Otis Brawley, an oncology professor at Johns Hopkins University and former chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, according to CNN. “Now, in certain diseases, our ability to treat has improved, and there are some people who are not dying because of treatment.”


via Pixabay

Over the past six decades, the prevalence of smoking in the U.S. has gone down dramatically. In 1965, 42% of Americans smoked cigarettes; in 2019 it was just 14%. Cigarette smoking is known to cause lung, bladder and pancreatic cancers.

Another big reason for the drop in cancer mortality has been the development of the HPV vaccine. There was a 65% drop in cervical cancers in women in their 20s between 2012 to 2019. HPV infections are a leading cause of cervical cancers.

“There are other cancers that are HPV-related – whether that’s head and neck cancers or anal cancers – so there’s optimism this will have importance beyond this,” Dr. William Dahut, the American Cancer Society’s chief scientific officer said.

Since 1991 there has also been a decrease in mortality for leukemia, melanoma and kidney cancer.

The cancers that now have the highest survival rates are thyroid (98%), prostate (97%) and melanoma (94%). The deadliest form of cancer is pancreatic cancer, which has a 12% survival rate.

“The report showing the U.S. has cut cancer deaths by one-third over the last 30 years is great progress, which we’ve achieved through driving smoking rates down, improving early detection, and delivering better treatments for many cancers. It means millions of American families have been spared the immeasurable loss of a loved one,” White House Cancer Moonshot Coordinator Dr. Danielle Carnival said in a statement.

“The report also underscores that there’s more work to do to save more lives,” she continued. “President Biden’s vision for ending cancer as we know it is building on the progress we’ve made with an all-hands-on-deck effort to develop new ways to prevent, detect, and treat cancer – and ensure that the tools we have and those we develop along the way reach all Americans.”

The good news on the cancer front comes as there appears to be a breakthrough in the treatment and prevention of the disease on the horizon. There are multiple vaccines in the works that use the same mRNA technology behind the highly successful COVID-19 vaccines that could be used to prevent and treat cancer.

Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci, the co-founders of BioNTech, the German firm that partnered with Pfizer to manufacture a revolutionary mRNA COVID vaccine, told The Guardian they believe that cancer vaccines based on mRNA technology might be ready to be used in patients “before 2030.”


Time travel back to 1905.

Back in 1905, a book called "The Apples of New York" was published by the New York State Department of Agriculture. It featured hundreds of apple varieties of all shapes, colors, and sizes, including Thomas Jefferson's personal favorite, the Esopus Spitzenburg.






Keep ReadingShow less
Health

Gen Xer explains sense of 'impending doom' that seems to define the Millennial generation

Somebody finally put it into words and a lot of Millenials are feeling seen.

A woman looks to the ground in dispair.

At the end of his YouTube video “Does Anyone Else Feel Like Everything Has Changed?” self-development influencer Stephen Antonioni makes a rather haunting observation: "In many ways, the world is a better place than it was yesterday, just judging by objective measures. But I can't help share the feeling that something is off and perhaps terribly so. And therefore, I have to ask the question: Does anyone else feel like everything has changed?"

The most popular comment on the video, which was liked over 28,000 times was written by a YouTuber named Tracy Smith. Even though, at 57, she’s a Gen Xer, her thoughts have resonated with thousands of Millenials.

“I am 57. Not only does it feel like ‘something wicked this way comes’ but there is also this feeling that the whole world is holding its breath. Almost as though we are all waiting for some catalyst or sign or event that puts an end to this feeling of being put on hold,” Smith wrote. “This vague, unexplained unease we feel. Something terrible lurking just out of our field of vision but we all feel it closing in. I cannot count the number of people who have told me they wish that whatever is going to happen would just get on with it. That this waiting for the thing in the darkness is unbearable.”

Keep ReadingShow less

Melissa Pateras explains how dry cleaning works.


Have you ever wondered what happens at the dry cleaners? Or are you like me, who just assumed the people at the dry cleaners were wizards and never questioned their magic? Turns out, dry cleaners aren't magic and there's actually a pretty interesting explanation of how they came to be and what they do.

Melissa Pateras is known on Tiktok for her laundry knowledge. Seriously, her ability to fold laundry is hypnotizing. This time, she created a video explaining what actually takes place at the dry cleaner and the internet is aghast.

Before Pateras explained what happens in the mysterious world behind the counter of a dry cleaner, she asked a few of her friends what they thought dry cleaning was. Their answers were...interesting to say the least.

One friend surmised, "You put it in a box, right...and then you let some wind, really fast wind, blow around on your clothes and it wipes off all the dirt." The friend, whose username is @unlearn16, continued with her working hypothesis, saying that the clothes are then blasted with infrared heat to sterilize the garments. While that is certainly an interesting theory, that's not what happens.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Doberman's blissful reaction while getting pampered at bathtime goes viral

This "scary" dog's next-level beauty routine proves there's nothing scary about him at all.

Representative Image from Canva

May this adorable video show that Doberman's don't deserve their bad reputation.

Let’s face it, Hollywood has given Doberman’s a bad reputation. So often they are depicted as the canine henchman to the evil villain, that many people assume that’s their temperament in real life.

But the truth is: like just about every dog on the planet, Dobermans are sweet, loyal and affectionate canine companions. And, much like Pit Bulls, they are not nearly as inherently aggressive as pop culture makes them out to be—especially when properly trained.

I mean, just take a look at Atlas. This goodest of good bois recently went viral on TikTok while getting a nice, relaxing bathtime session. He proved that not only are Doberman’s capable of extreme levels of chill, they can have a deep felt appreciation for some good old fashioned pampering.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Gustavo Fring|Canva

Therapists explains being 'touched out' and gives tips to help

Just about every mother has experienced the feeling of being touched out. They may not know that's what it's called, or some may feel embarrassed to admit they're feeling that way due to fear of judgement. But when you think about it, being touched out, especially when you have younger kids seems inevitable.

The sense of your body not belonging to only you can start during pregnancy. Everything you do directly affects your developing fetus, and once the baby is born, it needs a lot of physical contact for proper brain, social, and emotional development. So babies are held a lot outside of feedings. Those babies turn into toddlers who then turn into early school agers, all of whom rely very heavily on co-regulation of their emotions and being physically near their parent to feel safe.

It's pretty much a constant state of being touched throughout much of the day. When psychologist, Dr. Raquel Martin reveals she too feels touched out in a video on Instagram, parents across the internet felt validated.

Keep ReadingShow less

No better time to grab a little shut eye.

For those in the military, sleep can mean the difference between life and death. But shut-eye can be very hard to come by, especially during active conflict.

According to Sharon Ackman, the U.S. Navy Pre-Flight School developed a scientific method to help its pilots fall asleep. Through this technique, 96% of the pilots were able to fall asleep in two minutes or less.

Keep ReadingShow less