Appalachian Cancer Rates Rising – “The Need Has Never Been Greater”

A report published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that, based on a 2014 study performed by researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, of the ten counties with the highest cancer death rates in the United States, six of them were located in Eastern Kentucky. Furthermore, for lung cancer specifically, four of the five counties with the highest death rates were located in Eastern Kentucky.

According to a KY Forward article on the report, in counties with significantly lower than average income and employment rates and significantly higher than average smoking and obesity rates, such as those in Eastern Kentucky, the rates of cancer deaths rose by roughly 50 percent between 1980 and 2014.

“We’ve made great progress in our efforts against cancer, but for Kentucky the cancer incident and death rates are still shockingly high,” said Michael Delzotti, President and CEO of the UK Markey Cancer Foundation. “Many of these people receive their treatment at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center or one of the hospitals in its Affiliate Network, whose research and treatment options we [at the UK Markey Cancer Foundation] are proud to support through fundraising and development efforts.

“The true sadness of these statistics is that each one represents a life,” added Delzotti

Read more at KY Forward.