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Rates of new cancer diagnoses and deaths for U.S. men and women have fallen for the first time, according to a new report from leading cancer and medical research organizations.

The annual report, published online Tuesday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, showed this simultaneous drop in overall cancer incidence and mortality for the first time since reporting began in 1998, the study authors said.

While overall cancer death rates have been dropping, it's only now that experts see incidence, the rate at which new cancers are diagnosed, falling along with cancer mortality for both men and women, the report said.

The incidence and mortality fell for three most common cancers among men -- lung, colorectal and prostate -- and for the two most common cancers among women -- breast and colorectal. Overall, incidence rates for all cancers dropped 0.8 percent per year from 1999 to 2005 for men and women combined, the report said.

But lung cancer incidence and mortality increased in 18 states, most in the Midwest or South. These states generally have not passed anti-smoking laws, such as banning in public places or increasing excise taxes on cigarettes, said Dr. Ahmedin Jemal, lead author of the study at the American Cancer Society's Epidemiology and Surveillance Research Department. Read full article »

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