(TIME) — Cancer deaths continue to decline, but some gains are slowing.
A combination of persistent screening programs and new treatments are leading to significant drops in cancer deaths
From 2016 to 2017—the latest year for which data are available—the overall cancer death rate declined by 2.2%, the largest single-year reduction ever recorded. These new figures were reported in a study published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
The declines are an encouraging sign that screening, prevention and treatments for cancer, including recent advances in using the immune system to target tumors, are working, says Rebecca Siegel, scientific director of surveillance research at ACS and lead author of the study. That’s especially true given that mortality rates for other chronic conditions like heart disease, stroke and accidental deaths are stalling.