FARGO-- Promising news coming out of the American Cancer Society. The cancer death rate has seen the single largest, single year drop ever.
For 26 years now cancer's death rate has been dropping, but 2017-2018 saw the biggest plunge of all time. 2.2%, that's the drop. If almost 1.8 million people are diagnosed with cancer each year a 2.2% drop is almost 40,000 fewer deaths.
“It’s really promising, it’s hopeful, it’s not good enough. I still see people passing away from cancer and I still see the hardships of cancer so it’s never enough until it’s zero," said Sanford's, Dr. Shelby Terstriep.
So, what has changed over the years to produce these promising numbers? Dr. Terstriep says, it's a combination of many things including screening technology, genetic research, side effect treatments and prevention techniques.
"Reducing smoking, exercising, eating healthy, these things matter. When we want you to do a preventative test or a screening test those are things that you can do," said Terstriep.
For Fargo born and raised, Sara Dcamp, the numbers hit a little closer to home. She was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer in 2016.
“I definitely had quite a few symptoms leading up to the diagnosis, but again when you’re in your early 30’s you just pushing them away… cancer’s not the first word that you think of," said Dcamp
During her fight with cancer, Dcamp, started "Love your Buns," a non-profit with the goal of encouraging young people to get colorectal screenings.
"I have a big heart for others I definitely want to stop this disease and young on-set and so it gives me the drive to know that there might even be one person out there that I can affect," said Dcamp.
“You see the sadness, and you think it’s hopeless and you feel like it’s hopeless, but then you see this type of thing and you realize that you are a part of the army that is working towards success," Dcamp added.
When asking Dcamp, or Dr. Terstriep about the 2.2% drop they both agree it's great, but until the death rate drops 100% they won't stop working.