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Kentucky Cancer Program Receives $1.5 Million

By Jill Holder

 

“Kentucky is truly fortunate to have the kind of collaborative relationship that exists with KCP, University of Kentucky and University of Louisville cancer centers, and the state health department.”

Rice Leach, M.D., Kentucky Commissioner for Public Health

 

Jan. 6, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded the Kentucky Cancer Program (KCP) a five-year, $1.5 million grant to establish a statewide consortium to carry out the state’s cancer action plan. The University of Kentucky Lucille Parker Markey Cancer Center and the University of Louisville Brown Cancer Center jointly administer KCP.

The award is the result of a collaborative effort between Kentucky cancer organizations, principally KCP, the Kentucky Department for Public Health, and the American Cancer Society (ACS).

“The need to carry out the plan is urgent,” said Stephen W. Wyatt, Ph.D., associate director for cancer control at the UK Markey Cancer Center and principal investigator on the grant. He noted that the death rate for all cancers in Kentucky is 11.5 percent higher than the national average, and the death rate for lung cancer is 33.2 percent higher.

“Kentucky has a wealth of cancer control resources. This award gives us the opportunity to pull together to make real progress against the significant cancer problem in our state,” Wyatt said.

“As a community-based voluntary health organization, the American Cancer Society is proud to be part of this comprehensive initiative to impact our state’s cancer burden in a meaningful way,” said Sue Ellen Stuebing, ACS vice president for Kentucky.

KCP, the Kentucky Department for Public Health and the American Cancer Society will form a consortium to coordinate existing cancer resources. Twenty health organizations will be involved, including the American College of Surgeons, Cancer Information Service, the Kentucky Cancer Registry, and the Kentucky Medical Association.

The state’s cancer action plan includes:

  • Increasing programs to help people quit smoking, become physically active, and eat a balanced diet. Two out of three cancer deaths in the United States can be linked to tobacco use, poor diet, obesity and lack of exercise.
  • Increasing awareness and promoting early detection of breast, cervical, colorectal and prostate cancers. When these cancers are found early through screening, treatment is more likely to be effective.
  • Increasing the access of all Kentuckians to state-of-the-art cancer screening and treatment.
  • Addressing particularly high cancer rates in certain rural populations in the state, such as Appalachia.

“Kentucky is truly fortunate to have the kind of collaborative relationship that exists with KCP, University of Kentucky and University of Louisville cancer centers, and the state health department,” said Rice Leach, M.D., Kentucky Commissioner for Public Health.

The award also distinguishes Kentucky agencies as leaders in cancer care.

“The CDC award is a very important recognition of the Kentucky Cancer Program and its unique role in reducing pain and suffering from cancer in this state,” said Donald Miller, M.D., director of the University of Louisville James Graham Brown Cancer Center.

According to the ACS;

  • Kentucky ranks fourth among the states in cancer death rates.
  • In 2002, approximately 21,100 Kentuckians were diagnosed with cancer and 9,100 were estimated to die of the disease.
  • The average death rate for lung cancer deaths per 100,000 persons is 78.1 in Kentucky (No. 1 in the nation), compared to 57.7 nationwide.
  • The average death rate for colorectal cancer deaths per 100,000 persons is 24 in Kentucky, compared to 21.7 nationwide.
  • The average death rate for breast cancer deaths per 100,000 persons is 28.1 in Kentucky, compared to 28.8 nationwide.
  • The average death rate for prostate cancer deaths per 100,000 persons is 35.2 in Kentucky, compared to 33.9 nationwide.

For more information about the consortium, call Connie Sorrell, associate director for community outreach at the U of L Brown Cancer Center and co-investigator on the grant, at (502) 852-6318.


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