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Cancer Death Rates Stay Stagnant
Date:4/22/2008

on in cancer deaths in males between 1991 and 2003 can be attributed to declines in smoking that have taken place over the last century. But efforts have stalled: Almost 24 percent of men and 18 percent of women smoke, a rate that has remained unchanged for the past two years.
  • The percentage of high school students who smoke (currently 23 percent) has also leveled off since 2005.
  • According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if all state tobacco control programs were funded at their recommended level for five years, there would be about 5 million fewer smokers in the United States. But in 2008, only three states (Maine, Colorado and Delaware) met or exceeded CDC minimum recommended levels for funding of these programs.
  • Twenty-nine states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have bans on smoking in workplaces and/or restaurants and/or bars, while almost 3,000 municipalities have passed some of smoke-free legislation. "Comprehensive tobacco control programs are really key," Cokkinides said. "They have been demonstrated to be effective. We just need to keep up the pace."
  • The rate of mammography screening has remained stagnant since 2000. In 2005, about two-thirds of women aged 40 and older reported having had a mammogram within the past two years (four percentage points lower than in 2000) and only 51.2 percent reported having had a mammogram within the past year. Women without health insurance and recent immigrants had the lowest levels of screening.
  • Rates of colorectal cancer screening are improving, but still leave ample room for improvement. Less than half (46.8 percent) of American men and women aged 50 and over have had a recent colorectal cancer screening test, up from 42.5 percent in 2000. So far, 22 states plus the District of Columbia have legislation in place that requires coverage for all colorectal cancer screening tests. Again, the uninsured and recent immigrants were
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