Some good news on some cancers: During the last decade, deaths from stomach cancer have declined in most areas of the world, according to a new study.

While such cancers are rare in North America and much of Europe, they tend to be quite common in Japan, Russia, and parts of Latin America, and account for more than 10 percent of cancer deaths worldwide. Its aggressiveness makes it one of the deadlier cancers.

However, in the last 10 years, deaths from stomach cancer declined by about 3 to 4 percent per year in the European Union, Australia, the United States of America, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Ukraine, and the Russian Federation, report Dr. Liliane Chatenoud, at Istituto di Ricerche Farmocologiche "Mario Negri" in Milan, Italy, and colleagues.

Mortality similarly declined by about 2 percent per year in Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia, Chatenoud and colleagues report in the International Journal of Cancer.

The team used World Health Organization death certificate data from 63 countries from 1980 to 2005.

Declines in mortality were also evident in middle-age and young adults, suggesting these downward trends are likely to persist in the future, the researchers note.

The news was not all good: Women aged 30 to 49 years old from France, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America did not see a decline in deaths. The team also notes that data from Asia are sparse, and that data are only available from one African country, making it difficult to generalize the results.

"Despite the encouraging trends on mortality, stomach cancer remains one of the major causes of death world-wide," Chatenoud cautioned Reuters Health by email.