State Health Registry releases 2011 Cancer Report - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

State Health Registry releases 2011 Cancer Report

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and the State Health Registry estimates it will be the third most common type of cancer this year for men and women in Iowa. It also estimates it will be the third-most deadly.

"I figured death sentence," said LouAnnda Larson of Clinton, recalling the day she was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. That was shortly after she went in for a screening. She admits she put it off for too long, but luckily, doctors caught it before it spread to her lymph nodes and bloodstream. While the screening process itself can be a bit unpleasant, she tells us it's better than the alternative.

"Would you rather tell your family that you had a few polyps that they cut out, compared to having to tell your family like I did, to sit down with them and tell them that you have cancer," said Larson.

Dr. George Weiner, director of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa, said there's ongoing research that may lead to an easier screening process in the next decade or so. It would allow doctors to identify the bad genes that lead to cancerous polyps. However, there are two major challenges to overcome before the new method becomes practical.

"The genes can go haywire in different ways in different patients. It's not always the exact same change," said Dr. Weiner. Another reason: "Our intestines are full of bacteria, and bacteria have genes as well. So, the dilution of the bad genes compared to the genes from the bacteria is over a million to one."

If you want to see the full 2011 Cancer in Iowa report, hit the link below:

http://cph.uiowa.edu/shri/

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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