Iowa Cancer Registry releases 50th annual report
DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The Iowa Cancer Registry at the University of Iowa released its 50th annual report on Tuesday.
The group has conducted research on cancer cases, survival rates and deaths throughout the state’s 99 counties since 1973.
For instance, it tracks cancer survivors by county every year.
The registry found that Iowa had the second-highest incidence rate of cancer in the country in 2022, only Kentucky had a higher rate.
It also reports Iowa is the only state where the annual incidence rate increased between 2015 and 2019.
Results show the state has the third highest mortality rate across all types of cancers in black and rural populations.
It also projects 20,800 new cases will be diagnosed this year across the state.
Dr. Ingrid Lizarraga, a professor at the University of Iowa said the registry is a helpful tool in the fight against cancer.
“The nice thing about the registry is that it doesn’t just tell us who’s getting cancer, where,” Lizarraga said. “It also tells us whether or not they’re getting appropriate and timely treatment and what the outcome of that treatment is.”
Researchers noted that Iowa is slightly above the U.S. average in cancer risk factors like smoking, drinking and obesity rates. Also, Iowans are less active on average than the rest of the country, which can also contribute to cancer.
However, Dr. Mary Charlton, another professor at the university, said this doesn’t necessarily explain Iowa’s cancer trends. She added that environmental factors are ruled out as neighboring states aren’t seeing the same trends.
“As we continue to kind of drill into it … it seems like a mountain of pebbles,” Charlton said. “There’s not just one silver bullet that explains why we’re so high. We’ve been trending this way for a long time”
The registry tracks new cancer cases by county.
In the Quad City Area, Jackson and Lee counties are among the highest new case rates across the state.
It also tracks cancer death rates by county in the same time period.
Des Moines county was among the highest rates in Iowa.
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