Report on Cancer Prevention Gives Miss. Failing Marks

By Paul Boger | Published 15 Aug 2013 11:28pm | comments

Mississippi is falling short of other states in the fight against cancer. That's according to a report published by the American Cancer Society.

 “Mississippi is not measuring up, unfortunately, as well as we’d like,” says Pearl Carter. She is a volunteer for the American Cancer Society, and she’s right.

 According to the group’s annual "How Do You Measure Up?" progress report, Mississippi has failed to meet 9 out of 10 cancer preventing benchmarks that includes: tanning bed restrictions, smoking bans and breast and cervical cancer screenings.

 However, Mississippi did meet one benchmark that dealt with the increasing state taxes on tobacco. Doctor Thomas Payne from University of Mississippi Medical Center says he's remaining optimistic about the states policy on tobacco.

 “Mississippi has done some good things recently, and is approaching more of a comprehensive program that really a should, over the next few years, in terms of our effort to get our citizens to quit using tobacco.” said Payne.

 Kimberly Hughes, with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, says that while the state has already come a long way, certain policy changes could help in the fight against cancer.

 "Access to care is a huge problem in our state, and we could have gone a long way in preventing diseases such as cancer if people had access to care. Expanding access to health insurance would have helped us through medicaid expansion most recently." said Hughes

 According to estimates, 16 thousand Mississippians will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in 2013.






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