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Why cancer rates will likely fall dramatically in the coming years.

This week the British cancer research institution Cancer Research UK published new data on projected cancer rates, reports BBC News. Their numbers forecast a 17 percent fall in cancer rates by 2030. The BBC's James Gallagher explains:

About 170 UK deaths per 100,000 of population were from cancer in 2010, and this figure is predicted to fall to 142 out of every 100,000. Some of the biggest killers - lung, breast, bowel, and prostate cancer - are part of the trend. The biggest fall is projected to be in ovarian cancer, with death rates dropping by 43%.

Here's those numbers in graph form:

The research group credits the predicted drop in cancer rates (in the UK) to:

The United States currently spends around $70,000 per cancer patient (pdf), or $90 billion per year in 2008. If cancers in the U.S. fell at a similar rate to what's projected in the UK, that would save the U.S. healthcare system (and patients) over $15 billion, which could help counteract the $750 billion the industry reportedly wastes annually.

[via BBC News]

Graph: Research UK

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Audrey Quinn

Contributing Writer

Audrey Quinn is a Brooklyn-based multimedia journalist focused on health, tech and the economy. Her radio stories can be heard on Marketplace, Studio 360, PRI's The World, NPR's Latino USA, Deutsche Welle Radio and The Believer Magazine podcast. In addition to her work with CBS Interactive she produces multimedia science stories for online publications and is a teaching assistant at the Transom Story Workshop. Her investigative work has been awarded by the Fund for Investigative Journalism and The Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure