There's encouraging news in the fight against cancer.
For the first time on record, fewer people are getting it and fewer are dying of the disease.
Billions of dollars have been spent on cancer research and treatment over the past thirty years.
A new report reveals that effort seems to finally be paying off.
"We've made progress with research," said American Cancer Society's Dr. Len Lichtenfeld. "We've made progress with treatment and we've made progress with people doing the right thing for themselves."
Early Screening - A Key Factor
The biggest victories were notched against some of the most common of cancers.
The rates of colon and prostate cancer are down - mainly because of early screening.
The breast cancer rate is also dropping by 1.3 percent a year.
"Breast cancer incidence is declining because we are using less hormone replacement therapy for the treatment of menopausal symptoms," said NYU Cancer Center's Dr. James Speyer.
Fewer Dying of Cancer
Fewer people are dying of cancer. The mortality rate for prostate cancer is down more than four percent a year. Colon cancer is down two and a half percent. Breast cancer deaths are falling more than two percent a year.
Many more individuals who get cancer are beating it -- or living longer with it. Deborah Ellis is one of them.
"I've been under treatment for breast cancer for 22 years," she said. " living with breast cancer and living well."
Thanks in part to new more effective medications and early screening, medical science is making slow, but steady progress against a devastating disease.