Published: December 13, 2012
Font size: [A] [A] [A]
The Northeast Regional Cancer Institute is a local, nonprofit organization working to ease the burden of cancer in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Focusing on the areas of research, community and patient services and hospital and practice support services, the Cancer Institute invests all of its resources in this region.
One of the ongoing projects undertaken by the Cancer Institute Research Department involves monitoring the number of cancer diagnoses and deaths in the region each year. These data are not only valuable to cancer researchers, local oncologists and other physicians, but also help the Cancer Institute focus its outreach and education efforts on the areas where they are needed the most.
As part of this ongoing monitoring process, the Cancer Institute recently released an updated report comparing local cancer incidence and mortality for the 23 most common types of cancer to the corresponding figures for the United States as a whole from 2005-2009. Several significant differences were identified.
Cancer incidence and mortality for all cancer types combined were both significantly elevated in Northeastern Pennsylvania when compared to the United States. Incidence was also significantly elevated for 12 specific types of cancer; in particular, several tobacco-associated cancers (lung and bronchus, larynx, mouth, bladder, esophagus and colorectal cancers) and gynecologic cancers (ovary, cervix and uterus).
In evaluating the high incidence rates for tobacco associated cancers in the region, the elevated prevalence of cigarette smoking in northeastern Pennsylvania (25 percent of all adults) is a likely contributor. The prevalence of smoking in the United States is currently 18 percent for all adults.
In addition to the several cancers with high incidence rates, mortality in northeastern Pennsylvania was significantly higher for the following specific cancer sites for both sexes, unless noted otherwise: bronchus and lung (men), colon and rectum, esophagus (men), kidney, ovary, stomach (men) and uterus.
Several cancer sites also had significantly lower cancer incidence and/or mortality rates in northeastern Pennsylvania. Cancer sites with significantly lower reported incidences were: breast (women), primary liver cancer, melanoma of the skin, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and prostate. Four cancer sites with significantly lower mortality rates were: bronchus and lung (women), larynx (women), multiple myeloma (women) and thyroid (men).
For the present, The Cancer Institute wants to remind residents of northeastern Pennsylvania that quitting smoking is the single most important lifestyle choice you can make to reduce your risk of getting cancer. It is also important to stay current with all recommended cancer screening guidelines. Talk to your doctor to learn what screenings you should be getting.
If you would like view the complete report about regional cancer rates, learn more about accepted screening practices, or find resources to help you quit smoking, visit the Cancer Institute website at www.cancernepa.org or call us at 1-800-424-6724.
The Northeast Regional Cancer Institute is a nonprofit, community-based agency working to ease the burden of cancer in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Focusing on community and patient services, hospital and practice support services, and survivorship, 100% of Cancer Institute resources are invested in this region. For more information about the Cancer Institute, visit www.cancernepa.org or call 1-800-424-6724.