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More people survive cancer, new CDC report says

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

More people survive cancer, new CDC report says   The number of people in the U.S. who survive following a positive cancer test is increasing at a dramatic rate, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report indicates that there were 11.7 million cancer survivors in 2007. Comparatively, there were only 3 million cancer survivors living in 1971 and 9.8 million in 2001.

Thomas Friedman, the agency's director, said that much of the reason why so many people are living longer following a positive cancer test is that more people are getting tested early on. Most cancers are easiest to cure when they are caught in their early stages rather than after they have had time to develop and spread to other areas of the body.

"It's good news that so many are surviving cancer and leading long, productive and healthy lives," he said. "Preventing cancer and detecting it early remain critically important as some cancers can be prevented or detected early enough to be effectively treated. Not smoking, getting regular physical activity, eating healthy foods and limiting alcohol use can reduce the risk of many cancers."

Officials noted, however, that the findings indicate medical professionals will need to be more attuned to the physical and psychological needs of cancer survivors, as more people continue to beat the disease.

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