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Study: Aging population could reverse cancer death declines

Sept. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Deaths from cancer have dropped by more than a million in the past two decades, driven by science that opened new ways to prevent, detect and treat the disease, according to a report by researchers. An aging population could change that trend.

Almost 14 million people alive in the U.S. today are cancer survivors, according to the American Association for Cancer Research’s Cancer Progress Report 2013. The AACR, the world’s largest cancer research organization, also warns that continued funding for research is crucial as worldwide rates of cancer are expected to rise to 22.2 million patients in 2030 from 12.8 million in 2008, they said.

“There’s going to be an increasing number of cancers because the population is aging,” said Giuseppe Giaccone, an associate director for clinical research at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, in a Sept. 16 telephone interview. “There really should be continued support for research in cancer. This is the only way you can get continued results in the future. To do this kind of research is expensive but there’s no other way.”

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