Prostate cancer screening rate on the rise in Illinois

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Illinois scores good marks in the fight against prostate cancer as the annual screening rate in the state has improved from 48 to 51 percent and the incidence rate remains below the national average (163.8 per 100,000) at 162.4 per 100,000.

“Illinois is one of the few states this year where the screening rates have improved,” National Prostate Cancer Coalition CEO Richard N. Atkins, M.D., said. “The state even has a law mandating that insurance companies are required to cover prostate cancer exams—a big step toward eliminating access barriers.”

Illinois ranks seventh in the country in overall prostate cancer deaths and cases. About one out of every 27 prostate cancer deaths happens in Illinois.

“There is still more work to be done—more than 27,000 men will die from the disease this year,” Atkins said. “Before we can remove prostate cancer from any family, we must remove the obstacles to promising new research and provide education, screening and treatment to those who need it most. To do so requires the public’s support. We can beat prostate cancer. How soon is up to the people of Illinois.”

Prostate cancer statistics

U.S. prostate cancer mortality is 30.3 per 100,000 and the incidence is 163.8 per 100,000;

Hawaii has the lowest prostate cancer death rate in the country (20.5);

Washington, D.C., has the highest prostate cancer death rate in the country (51);

Twenty-three states do not have laws mandating insurance companies pay for prostate cancer screenings compared with 49 for breast cancer;

The federal government spends only $495 million on prostate cancer research, compared with about $850 million for breast cancer;

African-Americans are 2.5 times more likely to die from prostate cancer; and

Men with a body mass index of 32.5 or greater are 33 percent more likely to die from prostate cancer if diagnosed.

From the July 12-18, 2006, issue

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