New study says cancer deaths on the decline

NORFOLK, Va. - A new study shows cancer deaths are on the decline.

The study, conducted by the American Cancer Society, shows cancer deaths are down 25 percent since 1991. According to the data, each year deaths related to cancer went down 1.5 percent.

In Hampton Roads, which Sentara and Virginia state data shows has the highest cancer mortality statistics in the state for certain cancer types, surgeons with the Sentara Cancer Network are crediting this promising trend with people getting more screenings.

They believe patients can do even more to help these numbers by listening to their bodies.

"Screening is so important for patients. Don’t just put off your symptoms as another episode of reflux, or 'This is no big deal,' a bump that will go away. Those are the things that if you find early, we can treat and potentially cure you," Dr. Raffaele Marchigiani, a thoracic surgeon, said.

Norfolk and Western Tidewater health districts have the No. 1 and No. 2 breast cancer mortality in the state, according to data from the Virginia Cancer Registry between 2011 and 2015.

Related: Communty unites during rally to raise breast cancer awareness after Portsmouth's high death rate 

Portsmouth and Western Tidewater health districts have the No. 1 and No. 2 prostate cancer mortality in the state.

Doctors said cancer screenings are available locally and are inexpensive.

For more information about Sentara’s cancer network, click here.