Today’s Headlines: Cancer Deaths Declining, Tracking the Flu and More

US Cancer Death Rates Declining: Although doctors still say there is room for improvement, cancer death rates in the US has been declining 1.5% per year in the past decade, according to the CDC. Experts attribute the change to better screening efforts and treatment advances for the top cancer killers: lung, colorectal, breast and prostate cancers. However, despite the decrease in cancer rates, doctors are still seeing higher rates of some cancers, like HPV-related cancers, which include throat and anal cancers. (Washington Times)

Flu Tracking Methods Include Google and Facebook: Using search trends on Google and Facebook apps, experts are attempting to track the spread of a severe flu outbreak this winter. One of the Facebook apps, flunearyou, uses over 20,000 volunteers to track flu symptoms by their zip codes. The CDC indicates that this flu season is getting worse. “In the last week of December, 41 states reported flu was widespread, that’s ten more than the week before.” So far, “18 children, under age 18, have died because of the seasonal flu and 2,257 people had been hospitalized with flu symptoms through the end of 2012.” (USA Today)

Study Finds Short Exercise Bouts Beneficial:  A recent study suggests that physical activity increments that are shorter than 10 minutes are still beneficial. Researchers reviewed data of physical activity of 2,109 middle-aged men and women and found that despite the shorter exercise interval, the participants still had smaller waists, better cholesterol scores, and lower triglyceride levels. All participants who benefited, however, still engaged in at least 150 total minutes of physical activity per week. Activities included brisk walking, jogging, shoveling, heavy cleaning, badminton, and golf.  (Wall Street Journal)