Cancer death tolls fall, millions saved

Published: Jan. 2, 2015 at 11:04 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 2, 2015 at 11:16 AM EST
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Erin Freeman, Relay for Life specialist
Erin Freeman, Relay for Life specialist

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Cancer is known as the second leading cause of death in the United States.

"You know somebody in your community who has been touched by cancer," Relay for Life specialist Erin Freeman said.

However in a recent study, experts say there has been a drop in fatalities. Over 1 millions lives have been spared in the last twenty years, Freeman feels their work is starting to make huge strides.

"Makes our job a little bit brighter everyday."

Freeman says this is just a dent in the overall need to combat the deadly disease.

"So although that's wonderful and great and it speaks to all the research and fundraising that we do here at American Cancer Society... we want to create a world with more birthdays," Freeman continued. "And that means getting rid of cancer altogether."

Research says the decreasing rates relate to a turn in heightened awareness, smoking habits, improvement in treatments and early detection, particularly in breast, lung and prostate.

"And increase in colorectal examination has really decreased the colon cancer numbers." Freeman said."Of course even if you get an early detection earlier you can get those results much more likely you are to beat cancer."

Chances of survival can increase significantly, that's why having regular checkups are vital. The American Cancer Society recommends to look into your family history and know your risks.

It's a fight that Freeman says isn't over just yet.

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