Today we celebrate the remarkable men, women, and children who have earned the title of cancer survivor. We rejoice with your loved ones and caregivers, who have walked with you every step of the way, and share the promise and potential of your future hopes and dreams.
Despite cancer remaining the second leading cause of death, there is reason for hope. Significantly, the overall mortality rate from cancer has been in decline over the past 25 years. Thanks to American ingenuity, we have achieved dramatic medical advances in the treatment and detection of this disease. There are now almost 17 million cancer survivors, and that number is growing. Greater awareness, better treatment, and early detection are providing millions of cancer fighters and their loved ones with increased hope and strength.
Going forward, all Americans must remain vigilant in recognizing the most prevalent cancers and risks for their respective demographics. While different cancers have varying risk factors, we can all make changes to our lifestyles, like exercising frequently, improving our diets, and avoiding known carcinogens, which can greatly reduce the risk of developing this terrible disease. Regular screenings for certain cancers can also potentially lead to early detection and are especially important for common and treatable cancers such as colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and cervical cancer. Furthermore, new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer are continually being studied in clinical trials by researchers around the country in institutes of higher education, the private sector, and the Federal Government.
The First Lady and I send our best wishes to those who have survived a cancer diagnosis, and we send our prayers to those millions of Americans who are still fighting every day. Your resilient spirit and courageous attitude inspire us and so many others. You are not alone, and we are in this fight with you.