A national report finds Iowa is making progress as a state toward preventing cancer but it also says there’s plenty more that could be done.
David Holmquist, with the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, says the report uses a dozen categories as benchmarks, giving the states a red light for failing to measure up, yellow for being part way there, and green for succeeding.
“Iowa came out with six red, three yellow and three green,” Holmquist says, “so Iowa’s doing a pretty good job.” Only ten states were found to be doing “very well” with cancer prevention efforts, though Iowa’s among the 40 others that “need work,” he says. Still, Holmquist applauds Iowa for the three categories that were green-lighted.
“In terms of increased access to Medicaid and for pain policy, they got greens in both of those categories and they got a green for Iowa’s smoke-free law,” Holmquist says. “Iowa has a very strong smoke-free law and has had good success in making sure people are not exposed to second-hand smoke.”
The annual report, called “How Do You Measure Up?”, is in its 12th year and illustrates how states stand on issues that play a critical role in reducing cancer incidence and death. Holmquist says Iowa is failing in a half-dozen key areas.
“The red zone would be: physical education time requirements in the schools, restrictions on indoor tanning devices and cervical cancer early detection programs, those are three of the critical ones,” Holmquist says. “Also, in cigarette tax increases, the tax has not been increased for several years.”
The Centers for Disease Control recommends about $30-million be spent in Iowa to fund tobacco prevention and control measures. Iowa now spends about $5-million on such programs, one-sixth of what’s recommended.
Holmquist says, “What needs to happen is for the state legislature to take action on these issues and invest in some requirements that will improve outcomes and improve prevention for people who are potentially facing a cancer diagnosis.”
The report says 17,630 people in Iowa will be diagnosed with cancer this year, while 6,380 people in Iowa will die from it in 2014.
See the full report at: http://www.acscan.org/