More Americans than ever before can call themselves cancer survivors.
According to data released this week by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), 18 million Americans are currently alive today that have had cancer.
The group reported a 2.3% decline in cancer deaths every year between 2016 and 2019.
The AACR said eight new anticancer therapeutics, the expanded use of 10 anticancer therapeutics and the approval of two new diagnostic imaging agents have helped lead to the decline.
“Basic research discoveries have driven the remarkable advances that we’ve seen in cancer medicine in recent years,” said AACR President Lisa M. Coussens. “Targeted therapies, immunotherapy, and other new therapeutic approaches being applied clinically all stem from fundamental discoveries in basic science. Investment in cancer science, as well as support for science education at all levels.”
The organization said the decline is evidence that investment in federal health care programs works.
“Thanks to the bipartisan leadership in Congress that has delivered steady, significant annual funding increases for NIH in recent years, we have never been in a better position to take lifesaving cancer science from the bench to the clinic,” said Margaret Foti, chief executive officer of the AACR. “Ensuring that medical research remains a high priority for our nation’s policymakers is vital if we are to maintain the momentum in advances against cancer.”