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Cancer. The cancer death rate dropped 25% from 1991 to 2014, according to an article in the January–February CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. The authors report that the decrease is largely attributable to steady reductions in smoking and advances in the early detection and treatment of the four major types of cancer—lung, breast, prostate, and colorectal. Differences in rates of cancer death exist between the sexes, and by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.