A report shows cancer death rates among men dropped by nearly 2 percent a year between 2000 and 2009, and by 1.4 percent a year among women.
The report, published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, said prostrate, lung and colorectal cancers all saw declines.
Researchers say advances in treatment and screenings have helped bring the numbers down.
However, certain cancer types, including liver and pancreatic, have seen a rise in death rates. Among men, melanoma has also seen an increase in death rates.
Doctors say a poor diet, lack of physical activity and obesity are all cancer risks.
Doctors fear that these risk factors could surpass tobacco as the leading cause of cancer in the US over the next decade.