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Release: May 6, 2002

UI to host program on cancer May 22 in Council Bluffs

The University of Iowa College of Public Health and the UI Alumni Association are co-sponsoring an educational outreach program on cancer in Iowa. The program, which is free of charge, will be presented Wednesday, May 22 at Iowa Western Community College Looft Hall Conference Center, 2700 College Road, in Council Bluffs. A reception with light refreshments will begin at 5 p.m., followed by the 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. program.

Charles Lynch, M.D., Ph.D., UI College of Public Health professor of epidemiology and medical director of the Iowa Cancer Registry, will discuss how the State Health Registry of Iowa collects and tracks cancer data in Iowa. A 2002 report by the registry estimates that 14,600 new cancers will be diagnosed this year among state residents and that 6,300 Iowans will die of cancer, 13 times the number caused by auto fatalities.

Lung cancer remains the most common cause of cancer death in men and women, accounting for almost one-third of cancer deaths in men and one-fifth of cancer deaths in women. The report estimates that 1,700 Iowans will die from lung cancer in 2002.

The report also finds that the three most common types of newly diagnosed cancer for men and women, excluding non-melanotic skin cancer, are the same as in prior years. For men, prostate cancer is the most common, followed by lung cancer and cancer of the colon and rectum. Breast cancer, which accounts for three of every 10 newly diagnosed female cancers, remains the most common cancer in women. Cancer of the colon and rectum and lung cancer follow breast cancer.

Together, breast, colon and rectum, lung, and prostate cancers will account for more than half of all new cancers in Iowa.

The State Health Registry of Iowa has been gathering cancer incidence and follow-up data for the state since 1973 and is one of 14 registries nationwide providing data to the National Cancer Institute. Lynch will highlight the goals of the registry, including its service to communities and the state, and provide examples of how it facilitates the teaching, research and service mission of the UI College of Public Health.

Due to limited seating, those planning to attend the program are asked to register in advance by contacting Jasmine Grassi at (319) 335-9829 or by e-mail at

This program has been planned in cooperation with Southwest Iowa Regents Resource Center, Wings of Hope, Iowa Western Community College, Methodist Health Systems Cancer Centers, Amgen and Alegent Health. It is the fourth event in the statewide 2001-2002 College of Public Health Educational Outreach Series, which is funded in part by a grant from the Principal Financial Group Foundation.