Over the past decade, a constant decline has been observed in Delaware’s all-suite cancer mortality rate due to early screening and detection of cancer. The reported decline in Delaware’s cancer rate was about 15 percent during the period from 1999-2003 to 2009-2013 (Delaware Health and Social Services, 2017). The announcement made by the Division of Public Health (DPH) based on the review of the latest cancer statistics states the decline in the rate of incidence in Delaware was slightly better than the decline rate of 14% reported on the national level. According to the data provided by the State Health Department, the incidence rate of cancer in Delaware continues to remain over 10 percent higher than the national average (Delaware Health and Social Services, 2017).
Dr. Karyl Rattay, who is the Director of DPH, states that the trend of early screening among Delawareans has increased significantly (Rini, 2016). Other measures also helped in reducing the risk of cancer, which includes following healthy lifestyle practices, maintaining optimal body weight, consuming a healthy diet, getting regular physical activity, avoiding smoking, and scheduling a regular physical examination. In addition, many interventions and prevention plans are also introduced to fight against cancer such as the Nurse Navigation Program, Screening for Life Program, coordinated efforts of Cancer Consortium, and the DPH Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (“Cancer Prevention and Control Program: A Delaware priority,” 2018).
However, it has been acknowledged by the DPH officials that more work is required with regard to lung cancer incidences in many areas. It is the most widely diagnosed cancer in the country as well as in Delaware. From the period 2009-2013, it accounted for 30 percent of cases of death caused by cancer and 14 percent of cases of cancer incidents in Delaware (Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, 2017). The late diagnosis is considered one of the main reasons for the increased number of deaths due to lung cancer. It has been found that the diagnosis of most lung cancer cases is carried out at the critical stages when cancer has already spread to different body organs, tissues, or lymph nodes.
The number of newly diagnosed lung cancer cases from 1999-2003 to 2009-2013 among women in Delaware reduced to just one percent as compared to the rate of 5 percent reported countrywide. The US Department of Health identifies tobacco consumption as the main cause of lung cancer (Newman, 2017). However, the prevalence rate of cigarette smoking among Delawareans was as low as 20 percent. According to the Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (BRFS) report published in 2014, the smoking rate of cigarette smoking remained unchanged over the last four years (Delaware Health and Social Services, 2017).
Delaware’s rate of cancer mortality from 2008-2013 was reported 176.1 per 100, 000, which was 5 percent greater as compared to the U.S. rate of cancer mortality, i.e. 168.5 per 100, 000, the statistical difference in the rate was found significant (Newman, 2017).
Based on the examination of cancer incidence in Delaware, I am of the view that people are becoming increasingly aware of cancer and its causes. Although the decline in the rate of all-site cancer mortality in Delaware was higher than the mortality rate of the U.S. (Methods and tools: Cancer incidence & mortality, 2018), the state strived hard to narrow the gap over the last ten years by facilitating cancer screening services that have helped in the early detection of cancer to reduce the rate of cancer mortality. However, I still believe that the State should increase participation in various prevention programs and give more awareness about changes in lifestyle and quit smoking that would further reduce the number of cancer cases.
Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. (2017).
Delaware Health and Social Services (2017). Delaware cancer mortality drops again; Public health releases latest cancer report. Delaware News. Web.
Methods and tools: Cancer incidence & mortality. (2018). Web.
Newman, M. (2017). Delaware’s cancer death rate still higher than U.S. Web.
Rini, J. (2016). Report: Delaware’s cancer incidence rate remains high; Mortality drops. Delaware. Delaware Online. Web.