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Originally posted March 11, 1997

Ann Arbor, Mich. -- Valuable ground is being gained in the fight against cancer, according to a study scheduled for release Thursday, March 12.

The study, which will published in the March 15 issue of Cancer, concludes that cancer incidence and death rates declined during the years 1990-1995 -- reversing a trend of yearly increases from 1973-1990.

The paper - titled "Cancer Incidence and Mortality, 1973-1995: A Report Card for the U.S." - is a collaboration between the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study found that the incidence of all cancers combined dropped an average of 0.7 percent each year from 1990 to 1995, compared with an annual increase of 1.2 percent from 1973-1990. Cancer death rates also declined, falling an average of 0.5 percent annually from 1990-1995 after showing a 0.4 percent increase each year from 1973-1990.

The study is based on cancer incidence rates gleaned from population registries in five states and four major metropolitan areas - including Detroit.

Experts at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMCCC) are available Thursday, March 12, to discuss this progress in the battle against cancer and ongoing research that holds the promise of future gains.

* Max Wicha, M.D., director of the UMCCC, can discuss the latest efforts at U-M and nationwide to better define patients' cancer risk, improve early detection methods, pioneer more effective and less toxic treatments, and understand the basic biology of cancer.

* David Schottenfeld, M.D., a national expert in cancer epidemiology, is conducting a long-term, randomized study of 800 men living in Flint to learn why African-American men are at the greatest risk from prostate cancer.

* Lori Pierce, M.D., is studying the genetic differences between breast cancer tumors in women of different races - information that could lead to more targeted therapies.

* James Montie, M.D., director of Urologic Oncology at UMCCC, can discuss the significance of prostate cancer rates and innovative efforts at the U-M to improve detection and treatment options for men with prostate cancer.

* Mack Ruffin, M.D., is investigating the role diet plays in colon cancer as well as aspirin and aspirin-like compounds that show promise as colon cancer preventives.

* Mark Helvie, M.D., can address trends and controversies related to breast cancer screening.

* Stephanie Patterson, M.D., is studying the mammograms of African-American and Caucasian women to see if there are differences in breast cancer disease indicators, such as tumor size and lymph node involvement. Preliminary data on a small group of patients shows African-American women have greater lymph node involvement when their cancer is diagnosed.

The UMCCC's 285 physicians and researchers receive approximately $60 million in grants each year from the National Institutes of Health and other agencies - making it one of the top centers in the country in grant funding for cancer research.

Among the other key findings in the national report card:

-- The incidence of prostate cancer decreased for both whites and blacks.

-- The rate of breast cancer incidence was largely unchanged from 1990-1995, ending a trend of annual increases from 1973-1990.

-- All racial and ethnic groups saw a decrease in the incidence of colon/rectal cancer.

-- Lung cancer deaths increased for females, but fell for males in all racial and ethnic groups.


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This article is from a publication now a part of the Cancer Center's News Archive. It is listed here for historical purposes only.

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