Del. Division of Public Health Releases New Cancer Report - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Division of Public Health Releases New Cancer Report

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DOVER, Del.- Over the past decade, Delaware’s latest all-site cancer mortality rate substantially declined, particularly among African Americans according to data released by the Delaware Division of Public Health. 

From 1997-2001 to 2007-2011, Delaware’s all-site cancer mortality rate decreased 15.8 percent, a decline that was 21 percent greater than the national decline of 13.1 percent, the DPH added. 

DPH officials presented cancer data from their new report, Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Delaware, 2007-2011, to the Delaware Cancer Consortium in Dover at its Monday, July 20 meeting.   

The report shows that for the 2007-2011 time period, Delaware maintained its 2014 ranking of 14th highest among U.S. states for all-site cancer mortality, which is a substantial improvement from its top 5 ranking in the early 1990’s.  Among Delaware’s African Americans, the all-site cancer mortality rate of 192.7 per 100,000 was significantly lower than the rate for U.S. African Americans, according to the report. 

The report found that Delaware also experienced a 24.5 percent decline in female breast cancer mortality likely due to improvement in early detection and screenings and more effective treatment.  During the last decade, the female breast cancer mortality rate among Delaware African American females also decreased 33.0 percent compared to the U.S. decline of 13.6 percent; and 21.7 percent among Caucasian women in Delaware, according to the report. 

Regarding the incidence of colorectal cancer, the report found that Delaware’s greatest improvements were observed among African Americans, where the rate was lower than the comparable U.S. rate (43.6 per 100,000 vs. 53.6 per 100,000). For the first time since cancer surveillance efforts began in Delaware, the difference is statistically significant, officials noted in the report. The report also found that during the last decade, colorectal cancer incidence rates for African American males and African American females in Delaware declined 34.0 percent, and 32.0 percent respectively. 

The report also found that in 2012, Delaware ranked fourth highest in the U.S. for colorectal cancer screening. Data from the 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance survey showed that Delaware ranked third highest nationally in the prevalence of women ages 40 and over who had a mammogram within the past two years (80.5 percent).

Despite significant progress made in several areas, public health officials acknowledge there is still more work to be done particularly in the area of lung cancer.  For the 2007-2011 time period lung cancer accounted for 14.5 percent of all newly-diagnosed cancer cases and 29.9 percent of all cancer deaths in Delaware, according to the report, which noted that Delaware females now rank fourth highest in the nation in lung cancer mortality, and Delaware males rank 12th highest for lung cancer mortality.

“To help reduce the overall risk of future cancer occurrences, we must continue to work with Delawareans on making healthier lifestyle choices, such as not using tobacco, getting regular physical activity, and eating healthy diets, especially those high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low in added sugars like sugar sweetened beverages,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. 

The report states that being overweight or obese increases a person’s risk for cancer.  It references that research has found strong evidence for a linear association between BMI and increased risk for the development of uterine, gallbladder, kidney, cervical, and thyroid cancers, as well as leukemia. A linear association means that as BMI increases, so, too, does the risk of development of the disease, officials said.  

DPH also advises all Delawareans to have regular physician and dental visits to catch cancers early and to keep up with recommended cancer screenings as a preventive tool.   

High-risk individuals seeking lung cancer screenings should visit or call (302) 401-4212 to speak with a screening nurse navigator. Christiana Care Health System, Bayhealth Medical Center, and Beebe Healthcare will offer the screening.

To view the report and for more information about cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment, visit DPH’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program website at  The Delaware Cancer Consortium website is  

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