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7 min read

Record Drop in Cancer Deaths for Second Straight Year in U.S.

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We celebrate World Cancer Day this month with record drop in cancer deaths for second straight year in U.S.

The American Cancer Society’s annual Cancer Statistics reports improved survival overall for those facing cancer.  The improvement is most pronounced in lung cancer, thanks to improvements in treatment of non-small cell cancer. We have come a long way since the 50’s and 60’s when the word cancer was said in hushed tones due to the likelihood of it being a terminal illness. 

Improved screening, testing and treatment options now mean that cancer can often be managed as a serious illness with longer survival than ever before. 

With any serious illness palliative care services have shown to be a very effective partner, with primary care physicians and specialists, in improving the overall care of people living with illness.  This has shown to be particularly true in the treatment of cancer – so much so that the American Society of Clinical Oncology recommends that all patients with advanced cancer receive palliative care services.   Research shows that palliative care as a part of usual cancer care after a diagnosis of advanced cancer can improve quality of life, mood – and may even prolong survival!   


Anyone facing a cancer diagnosis can tell you that its impacts go beyond just the physical symptoms and impacts the entire family/support system.  Palliative Care services are tailored to the person and caregiver, and often include: 

  • Expert symptom management, including managing side effects of treatment. 
  • Support for the stressors of coping with illness and caregiving. 
  • Practical assistance to find needed resources in the community
  • Ensuring that treatment matches your values and goals - to keep you in charge of your care. 
  • Palliative Care services are provided at the same time as active cancer treatment

Everyone deserves the best possible care when facing any serious illness, including cancerPalliative Care is covered by Medicare and most other insurances.  Talk to your doctor about a referral palliative care.  For more information, including a provider directory, go to www.getpalliativecare.org  


Christine Lau, RN, LCSW, APHSW-C
VP of Serious Illness Operations and Care Management


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  1. http://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/caac.21654 
  1. Temel JS, Greer JA, Muzikansky A, et al. Early palliative care for patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer. New England Journal of Medicine 2010; 363(8):733-742. 

[PubMed Abstract] 

  1. Ferrell BR, Temel JS, Temin S, et al. Integration of palliative care into standard oncology care: American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guideline Update. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2017; 35(1):96-112 

[PubMed Abstract] 



April 12-14, 2021

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