The good news is that across the country, deaths from colorectal cancer are dropping, except there are three “hot spots” with significantly high expiration rates.
A study released in July 2015
showed rates were up to 40 percent higher in these areas in Appalachia and the rural South, according to The Washington Post
The hot spot that showed the 40 percent higher rate of death from colorectal cancers is along the Mississippi River in the states of Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi, the Post reported.
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In western Appalachia, the rate was 18 percent higher, impacting southern parts of Ohio and Indiana and northern Kentucky and West Virginia.
The third hot spot consists of eastern Virginia and North Carolina, which experienced a 9 percent higher death rate.
While researchers do not exactly know the reasons why the colorectal cancer death rate in these parts of the country is so much higher, they suggest high poverty rates, unemployment, obesity, low education and health literacy levels, less access to healthcare, and low cancer screening rates contribute to the results.
“Now that these groups have been identified, there is a moral obligation to do something about it,” said American Cancer Society epidemiologist and an author of the report, Rebecca Siegel, according to the Post.
Excluding skin cancer, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States. It is also the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths.
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The American Association for Cancer Research also noted
that African-American men in the Mississippi Delta region experienced a steady 3.5 percent per year increase in death rate from colorectal cancer from 1970 to 1990.
“These areas are low-hanging fruit for colorectal cancer screening interventions,” Siegel said, according to the AACR.
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