A plan to prevent more than 1 in 5 cancer deaths, without having to invent any new treatments

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A plan to prevent more than 1 in 5 cancer deaths, without having to invent any new treatments

There are already ways to improve cancer survival; we just need everyone to do what’s currently available.

The nation’s cancer experts say it is possible to eliminate more than one in five cancer deaths in the U.S. even if researchers never invent another test or treatment.

For this plan to work, every single American would have to take full advantage of the best medical care the country has to offer. If they were to do so, the country’s cancer mortality rate would fall by 22%, according to researchers from the American Cancer Society.

That would translate into at least 134,000 lives saved in 2018 alone, the group’s epidemiologists calculated for a report published Tuesday in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

The cancer society researchers believe this is true because they can already see it happening for the most fortunate Americans — those with college degrees. All we have to do, the study authors say, is make sure the rest of the country has the same access to high-quality preventive care, screening and treatments as people at the top of the socioeconomic heap.

It may sound like a pipe dream, but there’s evidence that it’s already happening thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The law, better known as the ACA or Obamacare, has improved Americans’ access to healthcare in the states that opted to expand their Medicaid programs.

As a result, cases of breast, lung, colorectal and pancreatic cancer, as well as melanomas, have been diagnosed earlier in these states, according to a previous study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Earlier diagnosis typically leads to earlier treatment and better outcomes, including a reduced risk of death.

Read on: A plan to prevent more than 1 in 5 cancer deaths, without having to invent any new treatments

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