FEATURE ARTICLE: CANCER CLUSTERS IN AMERICA
In a March 2010 report entitled, "Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What Do We Do," a presidential panel concluded the true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated. The report's authors wrote in a letter to President Obama, "The panel urges you most strongly to use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase health care costs, cripple our Nation's productivity, and devastate American lives."
Speaking of the Environmental Cancer Report...Dr. Jennifer Lowry, a medical toxicologist at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Mo., said, " the report finally lends a voice that could be heard that the environment does play an important role in the health of all people of every age."
We believe there are many lifestyle factors that contribute to America's cancer problem, but if there were no environmental factors cancer death rates would be more evenly distributed across the country than they are. We agree with the panel...environmental factors have been poorly investigated in the past and strongly support more rigorous testing in the future. We have prepared a special "Cancer Cluster Map" that suggests where you live can have a strong influence on your likely hood of dying from cancer. It makes no attempt to identify environmental issues, but it does indicate where one might want to take a look. Select any state by clicking on it in the USA Map. Mouse over the counties to see the data and discover the impact cancer has on the people who live there:
CANCER CLUSTER MAP
The data in the Cancer Cluster Map above is from the CDC years 2002-2006. Multiple years are required to provide a full range of counties and increase accuracy. The current cancer death rate in the USA is 181 per 100,000 population, age adjusted. We believe the new federal environmental report sheds new light on the relationship between lifestyle and cancer. In our opinion cancer death rates in America would be far more evenly distributed throughout the country if lifestyle were the only primary cause. Click on the various States in the Map and see for yourself how dramatic the differences can be and decide for yourself how serious you think the environmental risks are. Tom LeDuc