(CNN) - For the 26th year in a row, there has been a decline in the United States cancer death rates and according the a new American Cancer Society report, 2016 and 2017 saw its largest single year drop in overall American cancer deaths.
As of 2017, the death rate for lung cancer dropped by 51% among men since its peak in 1990 and by 26% among women since its peak in 2002, the report found.
The report also says as of 2017, the death rate for female breast cancer fell 40% since 1989. The prostate cancer death rate fell by 52% since 1993.
The death rate for colorectal cancer among men fell by 53% since 1980 and by 57% among women since 1969.
Researchers credit reductions in smoking and improvements in treatment for the decline as well as early detection for some cancers.
A report author says cancer of the lungs is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.
More people have died from lung cancer than breast, colorectal and prostate cancer combined.
Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the U.S.