New numbers on cancer revealed at University of Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New numbers on cancer revealed at University of Iowa

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Cancer is on its way to passing heart disease and becomming the leading killer of Iowans, according to the State Health Registry of Iowa.

The report that came out today estimates that 16,000 Iowans will be diagnosed with cancer this year alone. That's the size of the entire student body at University of Northern Iowa.

Linn County is the highest in Eastern Iowa with almost 1,000 cases. The State Health Registry of Iowa is estimating 6,300 Iowans will die from cancer this year. Again, Linn County leads Eastern Iowa with about 365 expected deaths. Most of the numbers in this new report are about the same as last year.

Doctors at the University of Iowa say the cancer registry has evolved quite a bit from when it started in 1973. They say it's helped to develop new treatments, and helped them realize the importance of cancer screenings.

"This is based on the past experience we've had here in Iowa, for a disease that typically doesn't change that much year-to-year," said Dr. Charles Lynch.

Data for the registry is collected yearly at clinics and hospitals throughout the state. Dr. George Weiner says it will continue to gain complexity, as cancers continue to change.

"All breast cancers aren't the same, and all colorectal cancers aren't the same," said Dr. Weiner. "Over the next 5 to 10 years we're going to be subclassifying these, based on what kinds of treatment are likely to be most effective."

Colon and Breast cancer survivor Diane Langenberg and thousands of others have benefited from early detection procedures influenced by the registry. She says less-invasive screening programs have been created based on the information.

"I think they're going in the right direction, most definitely," she told us.

Dr. James Howe agrees. He studies a condition called juvenile polyposis, which leads to colon cancer. His findings are submitted to the University and national cancer databases.

"They allow you to do studies to correlate different clinical factors with whatever research findings we may have coming out of the lab."

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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