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DC, Maryland make strides in cancer prevention policies

August 3rd, 2019 by WCBC Radio

More than 1.7 million Americans will be newly diagnosed with cancer in 2019, but a report from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) shows both D.C. and Maryland are making strides to bring that number down. The annual “How Do You Measure Up?” report, now in its 17th year, looks at eight policies state and local governments can implement to reduce cancer incidence and death, including access to care and prevention efforts. Both Maryland and D.C. meet four of ACS CAN’s policy goals in this year’s report; Virginia meets two.

This year, Maryland passed legislation that raises the tobacco sales age to 21. Forty percent of all cancers diagnosed in the U.S. are linked to tobacco use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and more than 27% of cancer deaths in Maryland are directly attributed to smoking, said Jocelyn Collins, Maryland government relations director at ACS CAN.

Maryland also recently passed legislation that prohibits the use of indoor tanning devices for those under 18. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., and research shows that using tanning beds before age 35 can increase one’s risk for melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, by nearly 60%.

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