Iowa is expected to mirror the national trend in seeing more people diagnosed with –and dying from– cancer in the year ahead. The American Cancer Society unveiled its projections for 2004 today and Kerry Finnegan, spokeswoman for the Iowa chapter, has the statewide breakdowns. This year, some 15-thousand-940 Iowans will be diagnosed with cancer while 65-hundred-70 of them will die from it. Both numbers are up from last year, but Finnegan says that’s not necessarily bad news, at least in one aspect.She says being diagnosed with cancer is not a death sentence. The fact more people are being diagnosed shows more Iowans are taking command, checking out their health problems and getting the needed treatment. Nationally and statewide, the number-one cancer killer is lung, while Finnegan says the top cancers that are discovered vary for the state’s men and women. The number-one diagnosed cancer in Iowa is prostate and three-thousand-160 cases will be diagnosed in men this year. Among women, the leading diagnosed cancer in Iowa is breast with two-thousand-320 cases expected this year. Finnegan says Governor Vilsack’s call on Tuesday for an increase in state cigarette taxes is a smart idea for promoting the health of Iowans — and for raising revenue. Our current state tax of 36-cents per pack ranks Iowa 39th lowest in the U.S., with the average tax being 73-cents. Iowa’s cigarette tax hasn’t budged since 1991. Raising the tax by 60-cents a pack, as Vilsack proposes, could raise 108-million dollars in state revenue each year. For more information, call 800-ACS-2345 or visit “www.cancer.org”.
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