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Health, Science & Tech

American Cancer Society Finds Pennsylvania Improving, But Not Doing Enough To Prevent Cancer

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Gerry Broome
/
AP
Pennsylvania is doing better at funding cancer detection and treatment, according to a new study, but still needs to make improvements to tobacco prevention and cessation programs.

A report released Thursday by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network finds Pennsylvania isn’t doing enough to produce statewide policies that help prevent and fight cancer.

“Public policy is an important part of cancer prevention and treatment,” said ACS CAN’s Diane Phillips.

She said Pennsylvania is making great strides, but that the state received approval in only three of nine public policy issues that the annual report measures.

She said the state’s Medicaid expansion, and funding for breast and cervical cancer early detection programs are steps in the right direction. So is an increased cost of cigarettes and an imposed tax on smokeless tobacco, both of which were imposed by the General Assembly last year.

“Our goal there is the price of the product and making the product less affordable, especially for kids.”

But she said the state needs more funding for tobacco prevention and cessation.

“Tobacco is a preventable risk factor for cancer, and it’s still a leading cause of death and disability in Pennsylvania,” said Phillips.

The report also gave Pennsylvania low grades for its funding of palliative care, and limited restrictions on indoor tanning.