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The American Cancer Society reports good news in the war against the second-leading cause of death in the United States: Cancer death rates have fallen by a total of 27 percent since 1991. The rates of death caused by most forms of cancer are declining — especially lung cancers, thanks to public-health efforts that have reduced smoking rates. Oncology experts say advances in cancer drugs have played a major role, too. Those drugs can come at a steep cost to patients and insurers, and they've turned cancer medicine into one of the largest categories in pharmaceuticals, worth $120 billion a year.

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Follow Andy Uhler at @andy_uhler