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Cancer death rates decrease by 29%

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - New treatments and declining tobacco use help cancer patients live longer and contributed to a 29% decrease in cancer-related deaths nationwide between 1991 and 2017.

According to the American Cancer Society, therapies targeting specific cancers like lymphoma and leukemia helped increase patients' chances of survival.

Gundersen Health Systems Oncologist Kurt Oettel corroborated the death rate decline report and attributed it to a combination of improved treatments and declining use of tobacco products.

"The treatments that we're using these days are advancing patients' lives," Dr. Oettel said. "Patients are living longer with their diseases that they otherwise would have died from relatively soon after their diagnosis."

The American Cancer Society data reported that lung cancer is still the most lethal form of the disease, but has decreased by 51%.

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Marcus Aarsvold

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