LA county text County Directory of Information & Services | Public Alerts | Public Information | County Contact Information

County of Los Angeles Public Health Logo



Environmental Health
Public Health EH Building

   

Tell Us How We're Doing
How to Find Us
County of Los Angeles
Department of Public Health
Environmental Health
5050 Commerce Drive
Baldwin Park, CA 91706
(888) 700-9995
ehmail@ph.lacounty.gov



CANCER TRENDS

» LINKS

Many people worry that cancer is more common than it used to be -- that we’re experiencing a cancer epidemic of sorts. It's easy to understand why they feel this way, with cases of cancer cropping up all around them and affecting people they know. But the statistics suggest otherwise.

The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer for 2009 found that cancer incidence rates (or the rates at which new cancers are diagnosed based on the size of the population) have stabilized and, for many of the most common forms of cancer, are actually dropping. Among men, incidence rates for lung cancer (the leading cause of cancer death in men) have recently decreased by 1.8% a year, and rates for colorectal cancer have fallen by roughly 3% annually. Perhaps most impressive were the changes in the incidence of breast cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer death in women, behind lung cancer. Those rates have dropped by approximately 2% a year.

Cancer experts can't pinpoint exactly what is responsible for these encouraging trends, but they have a pretty good idea of what may be influencing some of them. The decrease in lung cancer cases is clearly related to the fact that fewer people are smoking than in the past. Less smoking means less risk.

The recent decline in breast cancer cases may also be tied to a widespread reduction in risk. The biggest driver is probably the decreased use of hormone replacement therapy in post-menopausal women. In 2002, the Women's Health Initiative found that the long-term use of replacement therapy increased a woman's risk of breast cancer. Since the study's release, the use of the therapy has fallen substantially.

For other types of cancers, screening appears to have had an effect. Though tests for cancer are generally used to detect malignancies in their earliest stages, some can actually help avert their development. Sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy, for example, detect polyps in the colon that can go on to become cancerous. Removing these cancer precursors during routine screenings greatly diminishes the possibility of developing cancer.

Pap smears protect against cervical cancer in a similar way. These screening tests identify pre-malignant abnormalities which, when detected and treated early, nearly eliminate the risk of cancer.

In spite of the largely encouraging cancer trends, the news isn't all good. Cancers of the thyroid, bladder and kidney as well as certain forms of leukemia and lymphoma are on the rise in women; among men, cancers of the liver, kidney and esophagus are increasing. In some cases, little is known ‘about the cause for these upswings; in others, it’s less mysterious. With liver cancer, alcohol abuse and hepatitis C infection play a role; improved diagnostic tests are probably partially responsible for the uptick in thyroid cancer, because they detect cases that in the past would not have been found.

Though overall cancer rates are falling in the U.S., the absolute number of cases of cancer is expected to rise. Most of that has to do with age and sheer numbers. We’re an aging and growing population in the United States: There are simply more people at greater risk for developing disease.


LINKS

Cancer Trends Progress Report (National Cancer Institute)
State Cancer Profiles (National Cancer Institute)
Cancer Data and Statistics (Centers for Disease Control)

 

 email icon   Email Us
Pay for your Public Health
Permit or License by credit card

To pay for your Public Health Permit and/or License with a Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover card, please click
here.

A 2.25% convenience fee per transaction will apply. Please have your Account ID and your Facility ID numbers from your billing statement ready. Payment will only be accepted online for the total amount owed on an account. Terms and
Conditions apply. For more information about Permit and License Billing, please click here.

Areas of Interest
Popular Links
arrow2013-2014 License/Permit Fees

arrowBeware: Health Inspector Imposters

arrowBody Art

arrowBooklets/Guides:
arrowCertified Food Handler & Manager:
arrowCommunity Events

arrowCottage Food Operation

arrowDrinking Water Report

arrowFood Facility (Restaurant/Market) Rating

arrowFood Facility Closures

arrowFood Recalls  

All Recalls for 2014:


arrowGuidelines for Safe Food Donation

arrowInspect Your Home Kitchen

arrowMobile Food Facility Route Sheet

arrowMotion Picture Catering Operation Permit
arrowPet Dogs in Outdoor Dining Areas

arrowPlan Check Guides:
arrowRadiation:
arrowSwimming Pool Inspection Details

arrowSwimming Pool Closure List

arrowWhat to Expect as a Food Operator
Director of Environmental Health
Angelo J. Bellomo
Director's Biography
Home  |
Environmental Health
Public Health
LA County
  Careers  |   DPH Programs  |   Email: Webmaster  | Notice of Privacy Practices | 
English
Spanish
  Website Privacy Policy  |   Language  |   Accessibility  |   Disclaimer |   Employee  |
Admin Use
Outlook E-mail
DPH Intranet (At Work)
 
Los Angeles County Seal: Enriching lives through effective and caring services