The American Cancer Society on Wednesday released a report showing that the overall death rate from cancer in the U.S. declined by 29% between 1991-2017.
The report also showed that the cancer death rate in the US took its biggest year-on-year tumble ever — falling 2.2 percent from 2016 to 2017.
The American Cancer Society concluded that the drop is largely due to progress in treating four major types of cancer – lung, breast, prostate and colorectal.
At roughly 10am Thursday morning, President Trump, who only took office in 2017, tweeted about the news suggesting that his administration was at least partly responsible for curbing cancer deaths.
“U.S. Cancer Death Rate Lowest In Recorded History!” Trump tweeted. “A lot of good news coming out of this Administration.”
U.S. Cancer Death Rate Lowest In Recorded History! A lot of good news coming out of this Administration.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2020
In reality, the good news about cancer has been part of a decades-long trend decline.
From a peak in 1991, cancer mortality has fallen “continuously through 2017,” the American Cancer Society reported, “resulting in an overall decline of 29%,” or an estimated 2.9 million fewer cancer deaths.
You can see the decline in cancer deaths in the chart below:
As Vox notes: “This consistent drop is remarkable — especially since it’s occurring at a time when overall mortality is trending up. But while the news of yet another year-on-year decline in cancer death is great — it’s been great every year since the early 1990s, when Trump was merely a real estate mogul and fixture on the New York socialite scene.”
“Firstly, the data covered in the paper was collected between 1991 and 2017. Trump was inaugurated on January 20th 2017 and the statistics show a reduction in death rates since 1991, spanning several Presidents, both republicans and democrats. Between 2008 and 2017, featuring approximately a year of George W. Bush’s presidency and the whole of Obama’s two terms, the overall cancer death rates dropped by an average of 1.5% a year. So, since Trump has only been in office for 1 out of the 26 years that the data in the new publication covers, it seems unlikely that he or his administration have much to do with it.
It is true that between 2016 and 2017, there was a drop of 2.2%, but as most new cancer drugs take decades to develop, this is highly unlikely to have anything to do with the Trump administration.”