CONTACT: BECKY SOGLIN
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: March 6, 2000
State Health Registry releases Cancer in Iowa 2000 report
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Lung cancer will account for one of every four cancer
deaths in Iowa in 2000, maintaining its position as the leading cause of cancer-related
death for men and women in the state. The projection is presented in "Cancer
in Iowa: 2000," the annual report issued by the State Health Registry of Iowa,
based at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.
The report estimates that cancer will claim the lives of 6,300 Iowans this
year. In addition, 14,000 people in the state will face a new cancer diagnosis.
The report also projects that half of new cancers in women will be breast,
colon and rectum, and lung cancer, while 60 percent of all cancers in men
will be either of the prostate, lung, or colon and rectum.
"People need to understand that these three sites in women and three sites
in men collectively account for more than half of all cancers," said Charles
F. Lynch, M.D., Ph.D., UI professor of epidemiology, and medical director
of the Iowa Cancer Registry. "If we are to make progress in reducing cancer
incidence in our population, it is important that at least some of this progress
be made with these major cancer sites."
Excluding non-melanoma skin cancers, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed
female cancer, while prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed male cancer.
Lynch said that an estimated 85 percent of the state's approximately 1,700
lung cancer deaths this year will be due to cigarette smoking.
"These lung cancer deaths underscore that cigarette smoking is the single
most important preventable cause of cancer mortality in Iowa," he said. In
1997, smoking-related cancer deaths were the fourth leading cause of death
in Iowa, behind heart disease, all cancers and cerebrovascular disease. Nationwide,
smoking causes about 400,000 of the slightly more than 2 million annual deaths
from all causes, or about one in five deaths.
This year's annual report includes a special section on smoking-attributable
survival percentages and deaths in Iowa from 1980 to 1997. In that 18-year
period, an estimated 28,100 Iowans (7,800 women and 20,300 men) ages 35 and
older died from cancer attributed to smoking. These figures do not include
deaths due to second-hand smoke or deaths among former smokers.
Lynch noted that early detection and more effective treatments have helped
to increase survival rates for many cancers, including smoking-related cancers.
However, laryngeal cancer survival rates for women have not increased, and
lung and pancreatic cancers in both men and women continue to have very low
five-year survival percentages.
The State Health Registry has been gathering cancer incidence and follow-up
data for the state since 1973 and includes estimated numbers of new cancer
diagnoses and cancer deaths for each county. The registry is one of 10 registries
nationwide that provide data to the National Cancer Institute. Lynch said
the registry is currently participating in about two dozen funded cancer research
studies and continues to maintain cooperative relationships locally with several
hospital cancer registries, the Iowa Birth Defects Registry, the Iowa Department
of Public Health and several UI research centers.
"The Registry is committed to using its data for purposes of research, education
and service to improve the health of Iowans," Lynch said. In addition to Lynch,
preparers of the annual report included Michele M. West, Ph.D., registry coordinator
for special projects; Charles F. Platz, M.D., Ph.D., UI professor of pathology
and registry co-investigator; Kathleen M. McKeen, registry director; and programmers
Daniel B. Olson, Carla J. Van Hosen, and Diana M. Wagner.
NOTE TO EDITORS: To request a copy of this year's Cancer in Iowa report,
contact the State Health Registry at (319) 335-8609.