Posted on Mar 12, 2011

March 11, 2011 - Thanks to medical advancements over the past 30 years, a cancer diagnosis is no longer considered an immediate death sentence for millions of Americans. The latest reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute show that cancer mortality rates have dropped significantly in studies conducted between 1971 and 2001 and updated in 2007.

The CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report outlines positive trends in the time from cancer diagnosis to death for American cancer patients. The 2007 numbers estimated that 64.8% of the cancer survivors at that time had lived more than 5 years after their diagnosis, and 59.5% of those survivors were aged 65 years and older.

The earlier studies conducted at the end of the 21st century had shown the number of cancer survivors increasing from 3.9 million to 9.8 million between 1971 and 2001. The 2007 reports analyzed the number of Americans diagnosed with cancer according to the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results programs and found the number of those still living. With the 2001 number at 9.8 million, the 2007 total had risen to 11.7 million.

These numbers are encouraging and show the benefits of new advances in early detection, treatment, improved diagnostic methods, and improved clinical follow-up
. Even with these advances, this can also potentially increase cancer-related disabilities as more survivors suffer the ill effects of some treatment methods such as radiation and chemotherapy.

Cancer can cause many disabling conditions related to the disease and treatment, even if it goes into remission. If you were employed and covered by private disability insurance through your employer, you have a right to those disability benefits should you develop a disabling condition that prevents you from working.

Contacting a St. Louis ERISA Attorney

Under ERISA law, your employer must provide you information on your benefits plan and provide access to those benefits when appropriate. If you are in need of assistance in obtaining your rightful disability benefits, a St. Louis ERISA attorney can help - 314-315-8111.