Friday, February 16, 2001

Ky. cancer to be tracked nationally

State registry eligible for grants

The Associated Press

        LOUISVILLE — The National Cancer Institute is expanding its network of cancer sites nationwide to include four new locations, including the Kentucky Cancer Registry.

        The Kentucky registry will also receive $3 million in grants during a 2 1/2-year period and will be eligible to apply for about $2.2 million more for the next two years. The money may help reduce Kentucky's high rate of cancer cases and deaths.

        The registry follows and documents cancer in Kentucky.

        The National Cancer Institute, the federal government's main agency for cancer research, previously included 11 locations in the network. All of the sites collect detailed cancer statistics that are used by researchers and public health scientists.

        None of the sites in the network is directly involved in treating patients.

        Kentucky's grants are part of a total of almost $10 million in grants over the 2 1/2 years to the four new sites.

        Kentucky public health officials greeted the announcements enthusiastically.

        “Kentucky has a substantial amount of cancer, some caused by cigarette and tobacco use, some no one knows why,” said Dr. Rice Leach, the state's public health commissioner. “This is a good thing. It will help alleviate a lot of misery.”

        Kentucky's death rate from cancer is the fourth-highest in the country. According to information supplied by the state registry, almost 190 Kentuckians per 100,000 population died of cancer in 1997. The national rate was about 164 per 100,000.


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