The American Cancer Society’s first-ever “Cancer Burden in New York State” report finds that upstate residents suffer from cancer more often than city residents and that smoking is a major factor in the difference.
“Our analysis shows a ‘tale of two states,’” said Blair Horner, Vice President for Advocacy, American Cancer Society of New York and New Jersey. “Upstaters face higher cancer rates than downstaters, which is largely attributable to a significant difference in lung cancer prevalence."
"We can attribute the lower rates to especially vigilant efforts by New York City and the adjoining suburban counties to reduce tobacco use among their residents,” said Horner.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has long been anti-smoking advocate. Last year, his administration , and recently introduced a bill requiring landlords to .
City officials have said that smoking has decreased by 27 percent and smoking related deaths by 17 percent since Bloomberg took office in 2002. Smoking was banned in New York State bars and restaurants in 2003.
According to the American Cancer Society's report, though, more than 107,000 New York State residents were diagnosed with cancer in 2011, and more than 34,000 died from the disease.
The report found that prostate cancer is New York’s most common cancer, but that lung cancer is the largest cause of death, with nearly 9,000 fatalities. Along with breast and colorectal, these four cancers account for more than half of all cancer diagnoses and nearly half of all cancer deaths.
In Queens, 194 people are diagnosed with cancer every week and 64 people die from the disease every week.
The annual incidence rate has actually decreased in Queens, though, standing at 9.5 percent since 1994-1998. The annual mortality rate has decreased 22.8 percent in that same time period.
In Queens, prostate cancer accounts for 15.1 percent of all cancer cases, while lung cancer accounts for 11.5 percent, breast cancer accounts for 14.2 percent, and colorectal accounts for 11.3 percent.
The report says that out of every 100,000 people citywide, 521.8 men and 388.8 women will be afflicted with cancer. In Queens, 484.4 men and 368.8 women are affected.
The statistics are based on rates per 100,000 people and age-adjusted 2000 U.S. standard population.
From that same numbers sampling, the report states that 183.3 men and 130.9 women will die of cancer citwide. In Queens, cancer kills 166.1 men and 119.9 women, per every 100,000.
"We hope that this report will jump start a statewide discussion on how to reduce cancer incidence, identify cancers earlier, and to assist those in treatment,” said Horner.
The American Cancer Society recommends more cancer prevention programs, and to reinstate funding for the NYS Tobacco Control Program, as well as the NYS Cancer Services Program.
To read the full report click on the attached PDF.