Cancer death rates are falling. Advances in lung cancer treatment are playing a major role.

By Erika Edwards

Cancer death rates have declined steadily over the past several decades, falling by nearly a third since the early 1990s, according to a report published Wednesday by the American Cancer Society.

From 1991 to 2017, overall cancer deaths dropped by 29 percent, estimated at nearly 3 million avoided deaths.

Declines in mortality for four major cancers — breast, colon, lung and prostate — contributed largely to the decadeslong drop, with improved lung cancer survival playing a particularly significant role, according to the society’s annual look at cancer death rates, published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

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