As new research on cancer prevention and control progresses, there is much good news to celebrate in the war against cancer. More information on cancer prevention is available, more cancers are detected early, and more treatment options exist. Over the years, policymakers and health officials have worked diligently to combat the disease through establishing programs and enacting numerous laws.
However, most experts would agree that the battle is far from over. In 2013, over 1.6 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed and 580,350 persons will die of cancer in the United States. This amounts to more than 1,600 people dying each day and makes cancer the second leading cause of death in this country, exceeded only by heart disease. African Americans are about 33% more likely to die of cancer than are whites and more than two times more likely to die of cancer than are Asian or Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and Hispanics. According to the National Institutes of Health, the 2010 annual direct and indirect costs of cancer in the United States exceeded $263.8 billion in health costs and lost productivity.
As research and policy recommendations for cancer prevention and control are constantly evolving, state lawmakers face many challenges in staying updated and aware of cancer issues. The National Conference of State Legislatures Cancer Prevention and Control web pages provides information on statistics, legislation, research, programming and other policies affecting cancer prevention and control.