SEATTLE — Earlier this month, the American Cancer Society announced a national decline in overall cancer rates -- one of the largest declines the organization has seen.
But how does that national statistic compare to what we're seeing in Washington state?
Through 2016, Washington continued to see a steady drop in all cancer deaths since 1992.
For both men and women, the health department has recorded an average of 1 to 2% drop per year during this period, according to the Washington State Department of Health.
That percentage is close to the national average. The American Cancer Society reported cancer death rates fell 2.2% from 2016 to 2017.
On the national scale among men, death rates decreased for 10 of the 19 most common cancers from 2012 to 2016. Some of the steepest decreases were for lung, colorectal, and melanoma skin cancer.
Death rates went up for six cancers, with the steepest increases for liver cancer, mouth and throat cancer, and non-melanoma skin cancer, according to the report.
The report also found that among women, death rates decreased for 13 of the 20 most common cancers from 2012 to 2016. That included the three most common cancers (lung, breast, and colorectal). Rates increased for five cancer types, with the steepest increases for endometrial and liver cancers.
What's leading to the decline? The American Cancer Society simply boiled it down to fewer smokers, more research and better drugs.
In fact, some of the leading cancer and drug research is done right here in Washington.
Seattle Children's is studying immunotherapy for blood cancers in children, while Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center continues to make leaps in their efforts to fight and eliminate cancer altogether.