How you can find out if you live in a region with a high cancer rate in New York

Do you ever have a sneaky suspicion that your town or county has an unusually high rate of cancer?  Ever have second thoughts about drinking the water?  If you ever suspected high rates of cancer in your area, but thought you had no way of finding the facts, you were wrong.

Want information about the kinds of cancer in your county? New York's got it

Since 1976, the New York State Department of Health has kept records of cancer in every county in New York State. Under New York's Public Health Law section 2401, all physicians, dentists and other health care providers are required to notify the Department of Health of every case of cancer or other malignant disease.  Through the Cancer Registry, the NYS Department of Health collects, processes and reports information about New Yorkers diagnosed with cancer.

Researchers, and people just like you, can use the Cancer Registry to determine whether groups of people with specific exposures, such as those who work in a particular area, are more likely to develop cancer than people who do not have these exposures.  The Cancer Registry includes reports of all malignant cancers, and it receives almost 200,000 reports of invasive cancers per year, representing over 1,000 cancers.

If you go to the Cancer Registry's website, you will see the cancer incidence and  mortality rates for New York State between 2004 and 2008.  The website highlights those counties and regions with high incidence rates of particular types of cancer.  The Registry's website will give you county by county rates of specific types of cancer
According to the Cancer Registry, in Ulster County, the four most common kinds of cancer were prostate, lung, colorectal and melanoma of the skin between 2004 and 2008.  In Ulster County, the incidence of prostate cancer (144 per 100,000 persons) was double that of lung cancer (73 per 100,000 persons), almost triple the incidence rate of colorectal cancer (55.6 per 100,000 persons) and six times the rate of melanoma of the skin (25 per 100,000 persons).

What does this means for you?

For men living in Ulster County, look out for prostate cancer!  Prostate cancer is the most common invasive cancer for residents in Ulster County. Annual blood tests and rectal examinations should be the norm for men 40 years and up.  Find out what your PSA (prostate specific antigen) score is.

Why you may want to know more about the cancer rate in your community

Why do you want this information?  Well, you might want to find out whether your drinking water is being contamined by carcinogenic pollutants from the factory down the street from your house.  If you live or work in an area where there is a  high pollution rate (i.e., Ravena, NY--my adopted hometown, I'm afraid to admit), you might want to check to find out whether there is a trend of high rates of certain kinds of cancer, such as leukemia.

The Cancer Registry's website gives you a plethora of information at your disposal.  Find out if your area has a high rate of bladder, colon or brain cancer (among others) by checking out the Cancer Registry's website.

What you can do for more information

If you want more information about the Cancer Registry, I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 866-889-6882.  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.  Thank you for taking the time to read this article.