Anita Thornton has reason to sing. At 40 -- she was diagnosed with breast cancer. "I just went for it. I said, I'm gonna do this. I'm not gonna let it get me."
And it didn't. 12 years later -- she's cancer free. "I try to tell people now, that, you know, hopefully, you know, in a year, when you look back, it's all gonna be behind you, and it's not gonna be the first thing that you think of every day."
The American Cancer Society reports half a million cancer deaths have been avoided since Death rates first started dropping in the early 90s.
James Kane is with the local chapter of the American Cancer Society. He says early health screenings are key. "We should not be seeing huge increases in cancer mortality because hopefully these individuals are getting screened at an earlier stage which makes their success rate much better."
Still The Cancer Society predicts almost a million and a half new cases this
year and the majority of new cases in women -- will be breast cancer.
Kane explains: "We want to make sure that we're getting as much early detection as possible. The earlier we detect a breast cancer and there's many ways we can do that, the better off that person will be if they are diagnosed."
Since the 19-90's cancer rates overall have dropped 10 percent for women and 18 percent for men. "The more women who are getting screened early the greater success we're going to have." notes Kane.
And even though those numbers slowed a bit in recent years, experts remain confident that people like Anita will live longer and have something to sing about.