WASHINGTON — Fewer Americans died of cancer in 2003 than in previous years, the first such decline ever recorded, although the number of cancer deaths among women increased, the American Cancer Society said on Thursday. “From 2002 to 2003, the number of recorded cancer deaths decreased by 778 in men, but increased by 409 in women, resulting in a net decrease of 369 total cancer deaths,” the American Cancer Society said in a statement. Due largely to a decline in smoking among men, it is the first decrease in numbers since 1930, when nationwide data was first compiled. The society predicts that 2006 will see a slight decline compared to 2005, projecting that 1.4 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2006, and 565,000 will die of it. “The death rate from all cancers combined has decreased in the United States since 1991, but not until 2003 was the decrease large enough to outpace the growth and aging of the population and reduce the actual number of cancer deaths,” the society said. “While it is unclear whether the decline in the total number of cancer deaths will continue, it marks a notable milestone in […]

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