Report: Breast cancer deaths in the US have dropped 42 percent since the 1980s


2016 hasn't exactly been a good-news kind of year, but the latest findings about breast cancer are incredibly encouraging: According to a World Health Organizationreport, researchers from the International Research Institute in Lyon have found that breast cancer mortality rates in the U.S. dropped by 42 percent between the 1980s and 2013. The study also showed that the decrease was even more drastic for women under 50.

The study looked at 47 countries and found that deaths from breast cancer declined in 39 of them, pointing toward a worldwide decrease in deaths. There are a few factors that could be responsible for this huge drop—and not all of them have to do with early screening. The study's lead researcher, Cecile Pizot, says that the different healthcare systems in each country could also be indicators because they determine usage of certain drugs and cancer treatments. And of course, lifestyle factors, like diet, exercise, and environmental exposure to potential cancer-causing agents, might also be a reason for the decline in breast cancer deaths.

RELATED: Breast cancer warning signs and risk factors

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Warning signs and risk factors of breast cancer
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Warning signs and risk factors of breast cancer

Risk factors of breast cancer: obesity

(Photo via Getty Images)

Risk factors of breast cancer: lack of exercise

(Photo by Martin Barraud, Getty Images)

Risk factors of breast cancer: alcohol use

(Photo via Ron Chapple Stock, Getty Images)

Risk factors of breast cancer: an unhealthy diet

(Photo by Dean Belcher, Getty Images)

Risk factors of breast cancer: smoking

(Photo via Getty Images)

Common signs of breast cancer: a breast mass that is hard and/or irregular 

(Photo via Getty Images)

Common signs of breast cancer: changes in the skin of the breast such as puckering, irritation, scaling, dimpling, redness or thickening

(Photo via Getty Images)

Common signs of breast cancer: swelling of all or part of the breast, even with no specific lump

(Photo via Getty Images)

Common signs of breast cancer: enlargement or swelling of the lymph nodes in the armpit area

(Photo via Getty Images)

Common signs of breast cancer: nipple discharge, that is not breast milk

(Photo via Ron Chapple Stock, Getty Images)

Common signs of breast cancer: nipple retraction, which looks like a turning inward of the nipple

(Photo via Getty Images)

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The study isn't totally conclusive to what factors definitely contribute to the drop in mortality, but the findings do help the researchers to see what areas they should be focusing their efforts on in order to understand the best ways to successfully prevent and treat breast cancer. In any case, after the year we've had, we're all for this good news.

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