Some 1.68 million new cases of cancer will emerge in the United States this year, according to a report by the American Cancer Society

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The cancer death rate in the United States has dropped 25 percent from a peak in 1991, a decline which is being attributed to a decrease in smokers and advances in early detection and treatment of tumors, according to new research released Thursday.

The 25 percent decline means there were about 2.1 million fewer deaths between 1991 and 2014, according to an annual report by the American Cancer Society.

“The continuing drops in the cancer death rate are a powerful sign of the potential we have to reduce cancer’s deadly toll,” ACS chief medical officer Otis Brawley said.

The highest declines were seen in cases of patients suffering from four major types of cancer — lung, breast, prostate and colorectal. Lung cancer deaths among men decreased by 43 percent between 1990 and 2014, according to the report, and by 17 percent among women between 2002 and 2014. The research was published in CA: A Journal for Clinicians.

The breast cancer mortality rate for women decreased by 38 percent between 1989 and 2014.

Over the past decade, the research found, the incidence of cancer among women has remained strong, but declined at a rate of almost two percent per year among men. The report finds significant disparities in incidence and mortality between genders.

In all forms, the frequency of cancer among men is 20 percent greater and the mortality rate is 40 percent higher.

At the same time, racial disparities in cancer mortality have declined.

The higher death rate among African-American men compared to white men has declined by almost half in the past quarter-century, from 47 percent in 1990 to 21 percent in 2014, the report says.

Although cancer death rates in general remained 15 percent higher among African Americans than among white people in 2014, growing access to health care and prevention contributed significantly to the improvement, the report speculates.

Citing President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the report credits the landmark healthcare plan for extending health insurance to around 20 million Americans who were previously without it. The number of African Americans without insurance declined by half from 2010 to 2015, dropping from 21 percent to 11 percent. Among Hispanics, the rate fell from 31 percent to 16 percent.