Cancer in Iowa report predicts second highest incidence rate of cancer cases in the country

Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 5:54 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The latest annual report from the Iowa Cancer Registry found Iowa as the second highest incidence rate of cancer cases in the country, at 20,800. This comes from the 50th annual report in the state.

This morning, area experts talked about this year’s predictions and how they plan to help lower the more severe numbers on that report.

Iowa Cancer Registry Director, Dr. Mary Charlton says, “The bad news is, yes, we are high in cancer, but the good news is people aren’t dying from it nearly as much as they used to. We’re keeping that number of deaths stable.”

That’s because researchers are also predicting the number of cancer survivors to grow to more than 164,000. They are attributing that to an increase in early detection and advancements in treatment.

Of the various cases of cancer in Iowa expected this year, breast, prostate, lung and colorectal cancers make up half of all cases in the state. Researchers are not sure why Iowa’s cancer rates are so high, but Dr. Charlton says many factors, like high alcohol use and low activity levels, likely contribute.

“It seems like a mountain of pebbles,” said Dr. Charlton. “There’s not just one silver bullet that explains why we’re so high, but we’ve been trending this way for a long time in our ranks and so I think it’s really time to turn it around.”

Another factor included in this report is a jarring one, yet necessary for these researchers to try and help lower those severe numbers: About 6,200 deaths will be from cancer in 2023. But again, as Dr. Charlton stated, that’s fortunately a decrease of 100 from last year.