Increasing cancer mortality rates despite technological advances and drastically lower tobacco use in the USA: 1950-2015, 65 years of cancer theory down the drain?

There is no explanation for why cancer mortality rates have not gone down (and have gone up) despite medical advances as the entire nation has stopped smoking. Investment in screening and treatment can ensure near 100% recovery, yet all budgeting goes to cheaper “prevention” which does not work. Since the US cracked down on tobacco use, with success in white males, the overall cancer mortality rate has increased from 184 per 100,000 in 1950-69 to 209 per 100,000 from 1970-1994. Today that rate holds steady at 203 per 100,000. In white females and in other demographics cancer mortality rates have been steady or changed in negligible amounts, but these demographics have had increasing tobacco use rates. Cancer is a painful and unnatural death that can often involve long battles with the disease and should be combatted with all resources available, in treatment and in prevention. While lung cancer rates have fallen, technological advances have allowed earlier detection of lung cancer, which at stages 0 and 1 is among the least deadly forms of cancer, but at later stages is among the most deadly. Without adjustments for technological advances in medical care, no positive statement can be made in regards to success or negative results from anti-smoking campaigns. Meta-data from overall cancer mortality does show that the resources in the war on cancer have been squandered and had an overall detrimental effect on the national health of the country, and some policy change is necessitated, although it must be noted there is no current biological explanation for the lower cancer rates in countries and places with higher tobacco use, these have been correlative not causal links. Atmospheric nuclear weapons testing does match up with the population data, it was ended in the 1970’s, and there is solid science that shows inhaled radioactive particles cause lung and other cancer for 30-60 years after detonation.

A doctor I interviewed on this matter mentioned to me that it was a possibility that infectious diseases were accountable for the increase in cancer mortality, but that they did not know for certain, not having looked these statistics up. I have acquired the infectious disease mortality rate, and it has not changed since anti-smoking campaigns went into effect and in fact increased which means that the potential positive effects of tobacco may be even greater than suggested by simply looking at other raw data, possibly due to lost funding diverted to misguided anti-smoking campaigns. In any case the veracity of the failure of anti-smoking campaigns cannot be questioned in the war on cancer, and is a monumental public policy choice that must be reverted immediately.


It can also be noted that the demographic distribution provided in the atlas is vitally important as the female population increased smoking rates slightly and saw a slight decrease in cancer mortality as well as an increase in life expectancy commensurate with the increases seen before anti-smoking campaigns.

Study Estimating Thyroid Doses of I-131 Received by Americans From Nevada Atmospheric Nuclear Bomb Tests, National Cancer Institute (1997)  Annual Dose in Rads
It can be seen above that the white and light blue areas of dangerous levels of radiation (previously believed to be safe up to 2 rads annually, it is now known there is virtually no safe level of radiation exposure, with even a single rem additional exposure adding cancer mortalities) matches smoking data exactly (as shown below, and later in the article). Cancer mortality on the other hand, has changed drastically as far as geographic distribution over the years.

According to mapping of fallout from nuclear weapon’s testing the majority of the southern states in the USA are exposed annually to an average of over 1 rad of radiation, from fallout alone, exposure to this level of radiation (lifetime of around 100 rads) radiation results in a, “decrease in the circulating white cells and platelets.” This results in a statistically significant increase in cancer in keeping with the findings shown on this atlas as, “The Biologic Effects of Ionizing Radiation report (BEIR V) states that if 100,000 people are exposed to 10 rads of radiation, then there will be 800 additional cancers in that population above the normally occurring amount.”   Source:

We can expect cancer rates to drop significantly as the average radiation exposure in the USA has dropped since this map was made in 1997, the current average annual exposure is still .6 rads per year, enough that there are a significant number of people with lifetime exposure exceeding 100 rads.


Finally, a primary concern of smoking (though the claim asserted by anti-smoking campaigns is that it increases all forms of cancer), has been lung cancer. Lung cancer mortality has not decreased in kind with decreasing smoking rates however, and in fact only plateaus with the ban of nuclear weapon’s testing and nuclear power plant construction. While cigarette smoking has dropped by over half since 1975, lung cancer mortality has gone from 75 to 65 per 100,000, an insignificant change which after adjusting for atmospheric radiation actually indicates that smoking cessation has cost many lives. See image below for lung cancer mortality in the USA.

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