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As Congress considers how much money to budget for medical research this year and next, Jordan worried that cutting investments in cancer research and tobacco control could reverse hard-won gains.
"Like all battles, you just let up a little bit and it's all over," he said.
Among the report's other findings:
Survival of childhood cancer is continuing a decades-long climb, but new diagnoses are continuing to inch upward, too.
New cases of breast cancer had abruptly dropped in 2002 and 2003, as many women abandoned postmenopausal hormone therapy. That decline has leveled off.
Prostate cancer marked a small uptick in diagnoses between 2005 and 2007 but not enough to be statistically significant.
Cancer death rates remain highest among black patients, but those patients also have experienced the largest drop in deaths over the past decade.
Among men, incidence of melanoma, liver, kidney and pancreatic cancers continues to rise. Women show increases in melanoma, leukemia, kidney, thyroid and pancreatic cancer.
Deaths continue to rise for melanoma in men, uterine cancer in women and liver and pancreatic cancer in both.
In addition, the report provides the first in-depth look at brain tumors since the nation formally began counting non-cancerous types in 2004. That's important, since even non-malignant brain tumors can require debilitating treatment and can kill.
Brain tumors are far more rare in children than in adults -- but the tumors are more likely to be cancerous in children and non-cancerous in adults. The researchers couldn't explain why.
Nearly two-thirds of childhood brain tumors were malignant, compared to a third among adults.
Survival has improved for adults with any type of brain tumor and for children who experience non-cancerous kinds. But the past decade has brought no improvement in death rates for children with brain cancer.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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