Written by Michelle Corless, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
IOWA CITY (KWWL) -
They're scary statistics. A new report out Wednesday estimates more than 17,000 Iowans will be diagnosed with cancer this year and more than 6,400 will die. There are ways to help you reduce the risk of getting cancer.
When Rebecca Weatherford learned she had breast cancer last year she knew she could fight it.
"I was very positive that it could be surgically removed," said Weatherford. "Once it was gone it was gone."
2,300 women in Iowa will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. That's according to the "Cancer in Iowa 2013" report done by the State Health Registry of Iowa.
Thanks to new technology and the push for early detection most will live.
"We've had so many wonderful clinical advances, clinical trials, new drugs, so that we now really know a lot of information about how to treat each particular woman the best way that we can," said Sonia Sugg, Medical Director of UI Breast Health.
The report says breast cancer is the most common type of cancer for women. For men it's prostate cancer. In second place for men and women is lung cancer, which is the biggest killer.
1,700 Iowans will die from lung cancer this year alone.
"We are seeing those numbers slowly go down, but there's still way too much smoking for us to see those numbers go where we like to see them," said George Weiner, Director of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Doctors say the best way to prevent cancer of any type is to make healthy lifestyle choices. Don't smoke, limit the number of alcoholic drinks you have, eat well and exercise.
"Lifestyle choices are extremely important to us in regard to our risk of developing cancer," said Charles Lynch, Medical Director of the State Health Registry of Iowa.
As for Weatherford, she's glad her cancer was caught early.
"I don't plan to change any of my plans," said Weatherford. "I don't think it's changed me at all."
Doctors continue to urge self-examination and regular health check-ups. Both can improve cancer survival.
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