When someone asks whether we're winning the war on cancer, the discussion often veers into the world of numbers. And, depending on which numbers you're looking at, the answer can either be yes or no.
Let's start with the no.
The number of cancer deaths in this country is on the rise. It climbed 4 percent between 2000 and 2011, the latest year in official statistics. More than 577,000 people died of cancer in 2011. That's almost a quarter of all deaths. Those aren't just personal tragedies – the figure represents a growing burden on America.