The Iowa Chapter of the American Cancer Society has partnered with three other entities to create a publication that focuses on the disease in Iowa. ACS spokesperson Lorrie Graaf says the effort is something new for our state.

“The American Cancer Society has published on an annual basis a national cancer facts and figures (book), and other states have created and published their own state specific facts and figures, but this is the first Iowa has ever created this particular document,” Graaf says.

The State Health Registry, the Cancer Consortium and the Iowa Department of Public Health partnered in the effort that has all the facts and figures on cancer in the state. “So we talk specifically about cancer prevention, what are the risk factors among Iowans and how do those risk factors impact Iowans,” Graaf explains.

“And was also wanted to make sure that we had information related to Iowans in terms of specific sites — colorectal cancer, breast cancer — this type of thing.” She says the publication will have several uses.

“One of which is to help us measure the progress toward meeting the objectives in our 2012 to 2017 Iowa Cancer Plan. And that plan is our state’s cancer prevention and control blueprint, what do we want to be doing in the next five years,” Graaf says. “So this document that is filled with Iowa-specific data will help us in identifying baseline, and help us measure progress.”

She says the book pulls out the Iowa information, and then allows you to measure it against the national information to see where the state stands. “I think we’re reflecting some things that are happening on a national basis and also some of the data is also reflecting some other studies that have been done within the state, especially around obesity, nutrition, physical activity and the fact that Iowans are becoming increasingly heavy,” Graaf says.

The Iowa-specific cancer facts and figures book will be soon be available on the Iowa website.