Report released on cancer prevention, early detection

Report from the American Cancer Society assesses current prevalence of cancer risk factors and prevention measures.
By Amy Wallace   |   May 18, 2017 at 10:24 AM
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May 18 (UPI) -- The American Cancer Society's 2017-2018 Cancer Prevention & Early Detection report finds cigarette smoking and obesity remain significant risk for cancer.

Beginning in 1992, the American Cancer Society has published its annual Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts & Figures, or CPED, report to strengthen cancer prevention and early detection and to look for trends in treatment and prevention methods.

The report showed in 2015 that 15 percent of adults in the United States were current cigarette smokers, but that smoking prevalence varied significantly by state, ranging from 9 percent in Utah to 26 percent in Kentucky.

On the positive side, cigarette smoking among high school students dropped from 29 percent in 1999 to just 9 percent in 2015.

The report also showed that obesity is still a major risk factor with seven out of 10 adults being considered overweight or obese. Approximately 38 percent of Americans are obese with the prevalence of obesity in women on the rise.

From 1979 to 2002, the prevalence of obesity among adolescents age 12 to 19 tripled and is currently 21 percent.

"While some measures of cancer prevention and early detection have improved over time, others have either stabilized or worsened," Ann Goding Sauer, lead author of the report, said in a press release. "For example, cigarette smoking among U.S. adults has dropped to 15 percent but remains at the level of the 1970s in some geographic areas and population groups. The prevalence of obesity among both adults and youth remains high, particularly among black women."

The report also found that 4 percent of adults reported using an indoor tanning device in the past year, with 6 percent of women and 2 percent of men using indoor tanning devices.

The use of indoor tanning devices among female high school students declined from 25 percent in 2009 to 11 percent in 2015.

Cancer screening prevalence in 2015 was 50 percent for women age 40 and older having a mammogram within the past year and 64 percent in the last two years. Pap smear prevalence in the past three years was 81 percent for women age 21 to 65.

Uninsured women had the lowest rates of mammogram at 31 percent and 61 percent for pap smear tests.

"The bottom line is that despite improvements in some areas of cancer prevention and early detection, systemic efforts to further reduce the suffering and death from cancer are needed," Sauer said.

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