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.

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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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