Colorado cancer rates lower than national average

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DENVER (AP) Cancer diagnosis rates in Colorado were 3 to 4 percent lower than the national average in 1993-1997, a new study shows.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment study said cancer diagnosis rates among whites were lower than the national average by up to 2 percent, while rates for blacks were 12 percent lower. The study was released Monday.

The lower numbers were mostly achieved because lung cancer diagnosis rates were 19 to 29 percent lower than the national average, and colon and rectal cancer rates were between 9 and 15 percent lower than the average.

The report focused on statistics for seven major cancers, including bladder; invasive cervical; breast; colon and rectal; lung; melanoma and prostate.

Rates for breast cancer and melanoma were higher than the national average. Health officials said that was mostly because of better screening and earlier detection.

The death rate for breast cancer was 13 percent lower than the U.S. rate, said Jillian Jacobellis, the director of the department's Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Division.

Cancer rates for Hispanics were not available, but the department said the numbers have been in line with national rates in the past.

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