Cancer: What’s Wrong with this Picture?

Let’s take Indiana. The state ranks 34th in the US on the rate of diagnosed cancer cases per 100,000 people. it  ranks 7th on the rate of cancer deaths per 100,000 people.

Dying from cancer isn’t inevitable. New York ranks 5th on the incidence of cancer and 41st on the cancer death rate. There are a lot of survivors there, much better than in Indiana.

New Jersey is like New York: 7th on the rate of cancers and 35th on the death rate from cancers. There’s a lot of resources and people live.

There are three possible explanations for Indiana:

  1. Cancer cases are being misdiagnosed leading to late detection, or
  2. Cancer care in the state is less than state-of-the-art.
  3. Or, most likely, both.

There are other states like Indiana, where, if you get cancer, you’re in trouble.

  • The great smoking state of Kentucky has the highest rate of cancer in the US and the highest death rate from cancer. Simple model: smoke, get cancer, die. The state doesn’t allocate adequate resources to change this.
  • Louisiana ranks 3rd on cancer rates and 4th on cancer death rates.
  • West Virginia is like Indiana, only worse. It’s 13th on the rate of cancer and 2nd on the rate of death from cancer.
  • Alabama is 32nd on the rate of cancer and 11th on the death rate from cancer.
  • Missouri is 25th on the rate of cancer and 12th on the death rate.

Bottom line: The kind of healthcare you get in the US depends on where you live. Some states encourage the creation of state-of-the-art research and healthcare facilities and some don’t. That in turn impacts how long you live.




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