The Iowa Cancer Registry is releasing its annual predictions in a report that holds both good and bad news for the outlook of our health. The Cancer Registry’s medical director, Dr. Chuck Lynch, an epidemiology professor at the University of Iowa, says the number of new cancer cases has risen slightly from last year. The report predicts 65-hundred Iowans will die from cancer this year while nearly 16-thousand will be diagnosed with cancer. Part of the reason is that bladder cancer is now being reported, both invasive and non-invasive, which nearly doubles the number of those cancers. The report predicts cancer will strike five out of every thousand Iowans, while finding cancer is the second leading cause of death in Iowa, responsible for about 230 of every thousand deaths. Dr. Lynch says breast, prostate, colo-rectal and lung cancers will account for more than half of all new cancer cases and about half of all cancer deaths in Iowa. Even though the number of Iowans who smoke is dropping, he says lung cancer is still the state’s top cancer killer. Lung cancer death rates have been falling in men but rising in women, based on the smoking habits in the population 20-to-30 years ago. While the number of smokers is falling, it will take years before the benefits will be seen. Besides early detection being key to survival, he says other positive health practices can help, like quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol, and picking up exercise and good eating habits.
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