Association of Community Cancer Centers Applauds Oncology Care Providers for Their Contribution to Record Drop in U.S. Cancer Deaths

January 13, 2020

The Association of Community Cancer Centers congratulates the entire oncology community on the achievement of the largest one-year drop in cancer mortality—the record decline in annual cancer deaths was measured from 2016 to 2017.

Ali McBride, PharmD, MS, BCOP

The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) congratulates the entire oncology community on the achievement of the largest one-year drop in cancer mortality—the record decline in annual cancer deaths was measured from 2016 to 2017. The numbers were reported in the American Cancer Society’s yearly Cancer Statistics, 2020, report released January 8. The study authors attribute the record-setting decline primarily to a reduction in deaths from lung cancer.

ACCC commends the dedicated efforts of thousands of oncology professionals across all sectors of healthcare whose work underlies and drives these improvements in our population’s health. Their tenacity continues to bring advances and innovations in outreach, screening, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring, and care delivery from bench to bedside.

“This record-breaking decline in U.S. cancer deaths reflects commitment from patients, providers, payers, policymakers, and communities throughout the country,” said ACCC President Ali McBride, PharmD, MS, BCOP. “Helping to ensure access to the latest advances in knowledge, diagnosis, and treatment is critical to realizing these improvements in our population’s health. Working together, we can continue to reduce the burden of cancer.

The Cancer Statistics, 2020 report finds that melanoma skin cancer saw the greatest decline in cancer deaths and points to the role of immunotherapy checkpoint inhibitor drugs in helping achieve this change. During 2013-2017, the overall death rate from melanoma fell by 7 percent each year for those ages 20 to 64, 1 percent per year in those ages 50 to 64. For those age 65 and older, the death rate fell between 5 to 6 percent. Prior to 2013, mortality rates for this segment had been increasing.

ACCC and its membership work collaboratively, sharing approaches and practical solutions—from cancer prevention and screening to strategies for overcoming real-world barriers so that patients have access to new and emerging therapies.

“ACCC, through its Immuno-Oncology Institute, is at the forefront of helping cancer programs and providers overcome barriers to successful integration of new therapies into practice,” said Dr. McBride. “In 2020 we look forward to expanding the practical resources, tools, and education required for interdisciplinary teams to deliver state-of-the art cancer care.”

Each year, the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures 2020 report includes a special section highlighting a specific concern. Last year, the focus was on the critical challenge of the aging U.S. population and, specifically, the growing population of cancer survivors who are the most elderly.

ACCC provides a robust online resource through its program on Multidisciplinary Approaches to Caring for Geriatric Patients with Cancer that advocates for the integration of geriatric assessment into cancer care.

In this year’s report, researchers draw attention to adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients. ACCC members continue to share information on how to better meet the unique needs of these patients. Recent resources are available at accc-cancer.org/AYA-resources.

ACCC members have also been at the vanguard of operationalizing low-dose CT screening programs for lung cancer. The association partners with both patient advocacy and provider organizations such as the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer, Lungevity, the American College of Chest Physicians, and the College of American Pathologists to develop and deliver tools and peer-driven support to continue to improve care for those diagnosed with lung cancer.

View Cancer Statistics, 2020, at cacancerjournal.com.

Learn more about the Association of Community Cancer Center’s education resources for the multidisciplinary cancer care team at accc-cancer.org/learn.

About the Association of Community Cancer Centers

The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) is the leading education and advocacy organization for the cancer care community. Founded in 1974, ACCC is a powerful network of 25,000 multidisciplinary practitioners from 2,100 hospitals and practices nationwide. As advances in cancer screening and diagnosis, treatment options, and care delivery models continue to evolve — so has ACCC — adapting its resources to meet the changing needs of the entire oncology care team. For more information, visit accc-cancer.org or call 301.984.9496. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn; read our blog, ACCCBuzz; and tune in to our podcast, CANCER BUZZ.


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