The Largest Single Drop in Cancer Mortality Rates in US History

Olivia Solomon, Advertising Chair

On Jan. 8, the American Cancer Society reported the largest single drop in cancer mortality rates in US history. According to ACS, the cancer death rate has dropped over 29% from 1991 to 2017. This new information will not only bring hope to those diagnosed with cancer, but this also shows the progress of cancer research and cures.

Cancer survivors such as junior Gonzalo Grande serve as direct results of this historic milestone in the progression in medicine and cancer research. 

In 2013, at only 10 years old, Grande received a diagnosis of Stage Four bone cancer with a slim chance of survival. 

“The doctors gave me a 10% chance of surviving, and even then they said it would take a year and a half to cure,” Grande said. 

Despite his lethal diagnosis, after undergoing chemotherapy for two months the cancer shrunk by two-thirds. Through following a strict diet and treatment plan, Grande went into remission after nine months of chemotherapy. 

“Chemo doesn’t just kill the cancer, it kills you as well. So, I had to be extremely healthy and cut out sugar, fried foods and I couldn’t put anything in the microwave,” Grande said. “And everyday I would try to walk around and be active, even when I was in the hospital.” 

Additionally, this new finding  gives hope to the thousands of people who continue to get a cancer diagnosis by showing them that the statistics and likelihood of survival stand in their favor. 

While this recent statistic brings hope and positivity, cancer still takes remains a vicious disease that over 1,735,350 people get diagnosed with each year in the US alone, according to ACS. As science and medicine advances, this milestone simply serves as a point of encouragement in the search of curing cancer as a whole and putting a stop to its devastation.

“It was not just me suffering [in the hospital], I saw so many kids and adults suffering unimaginable pain,” Grande said. “When I hear that someone didn’t make [it] it’s just heartbreaking, but when someone survives and beats [cancer] it’s just the happiest thing in the world.”

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