Just last year over one million Americans were diagnosed with some type of cancer and over 500,000 people died from the disease. It's a scary statistic that seems to be getting better.
A report released Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2007, said that cancer deaths in the United States have dropped for the second year in a row. However, the drop this year was the steepest ever recorded.
"How I found out is I had a lump that was sticking out of my right breast and I went and got that evaluated. I thought there was something wrong. The doctor said it was okay but through further testing, it was malignant and I was a stage two cancer,” Lynn Reker said.
Lynn is a thirteen-year cancer survivor from breast cancer. She said once she knew something on her body was different, she immediately decided to see a doctor.
"I am a survivor. I am here and because of early detection, because I did go to the doctor and make sure that everything was checked out, that's why I’m here," Lynn said.
Lynn is one of nearly ten million Americans alive today, that have had cancer. Those statistics continue to improve.
Jessica Jones works with the American Cancer Society. She said a report released on Wednesday shows that nationwide, we are seeing a decrease in cancer deaths.
Compared to a decline of 369 deaths in 2003, there were 3,014 fewer cancer deaths in 2004.
"There's a significant drop that they've seen in the last seventy years,” Jones said. She also said for the upcoming year, Kentucky is predicted to have a decrease within the state of both those diagnosed with cancer and for cancer deaths.
These encouraging statistics are predicted to come from a decline in smoking, improvements in cancer screenings and detection and treatment.
"This is the first time in the last sixty, seventy years that they are coming out and saying, we are making strides in the fight against cancer and we are winning the battle on that,” Jones said.
Lynn said the more research we have out there on cancer, she feels the more survivors there will be.
"If we didn't have research on cancers, I wouldn't be here,” Lynn said.
For more information on cancer or the American Cancer Society, you can log onto www.cancer.org.