How does Mississippi measure up when it comes to fighting cancer?

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Research shows that we could prevent roughly half of all cancer deaths in Mississippi if everyone were to stop using tobacco products, get cancer screenings, eat well, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. Lawmakers play a crucial role in the fight against cancer by passing laws that help reduce the toll of the disease – which will claim an estimated 6,350 lives in Mississippi this year alone.

Mississippi falling short on legislative efforts to combat cancer, according to a recent report by American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network that evaluates each state’s legislative activity on issues such as access to care, cancer prevention and tobacco control. Mississippi measured up in none of the 12 critical benchmarks measured in the report.

To improve the state’s efforts to prevent and fight the devastating effects of cancer, Mississippi lawmakers need to provide funding for breast and cervical cancer program at the Mississippi State Department of Health.  It would not only save women’s lives, but the state dollars would be matched by federal dollars, allowing even more women to be helped.

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State policymakers must take action. We cannot miss opportunities to enact policies that could save money and, most importantly, save lives.


Jessica Bartels

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Volunteer (ACS CAN)

Gulfport, MS