Death certificates are a very poor indicator of cause of death.
The battle between Cancer and Apoptosis is one theory. It has some merit to it, but it also seems that tumors can be viewed as a fundamental form of life similar to a fetus having its own blood supply and largely anaerobic environment. We keep finding various pathogens in tumors and declare them to be likely causes but are probably a result not a cause.
We treat "tumor burden" by lowering the number and size of tumors but we have no idea if this extends the length of life by one second or not or improves the quality of the patient's life at all.
We yammer about Free Radicals but make no progress investigating its role in driving the apoptosis pathway.