The American Cancer Society reports for the first time since record-keeping began in the 1930s, the number of cancer deaths nationwide has dropped. Chuck Reed, spokesman for the Iowa chapter of A-C-S, says cancer deaths in the Hawkeye State are also falling, but at a very small rate. Reed says the numbers are stagnant in Iowa since policies haven’t changed. He says if the cigarette tax is raised, for example, the number of smokers will drop even more, bringing a further drop in cancer deaths.
Reed says an average of 241 Iowa men died of cancer each year over the past several years and for women, cancer killed about 157 a year. Reed says the male numbers have gone down a bit while the womens’ numbers are about the same but he says it’s important to note it’s the first time in 30 years the cancer deaths have fallen in Iowa.
Nationwide, the numbers fell by fewer than 400 out of out of more than a half-million cancer deaths. Still, Reed says, a slight decrease is still much better than the increases — like we’ve been having. He says the efforts are working nationally and he says implementation of more smoke-free zones, smoking cessation programs and higher cigarette taxes will bring about still more change in Iowa. For more information, surf to “www.cancer.org”.