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Governor Kelly unveils Kansas’ plan to fight cancer

Blueprint Outlines How Kansas Will Reduce the Burden of Cancer,
Improve Cancer Screening and Treatment Outcomes Over the Next 5 Years

TOPEKA – Today, Governor Laura Kelly announced the release of the largest, most comprehensive cancer prevention and control plan in Kansas history. The plan outlines how the State will allocate resources over the next five years to prevent cancer and reduce the disease’s burden on Kansans who have been diagnosed with cancer and their families. It includes proposals to bolster the health care workforce, increase early detection, expand providers’ understanding of the span of resources available to patients and survivors, and reduce unhealthy behaviors.

Cancer is a leading cause of death in Kansas, exceeded only by heart disease. On average, more than 5,500 Kansans die from cancer each year.

“Nearly all of us will be impacted by cancer at some point in our lives, whether that’s receiving a diagnosis ourselves or supporting family and friends through treatment,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “The Kansas Cancer Plan is a call to action that reflects a year and a half of hard work, research, and sustained engagement to improve the lives of Kansans. I thank everyone who contributed to this important blueprint for how we can advance uniquely Kansan solutions to combat this terrible disease.”

The plan results from an 18-month collaboration between the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Cancer Partnership (KCP). The KCP has multiple workgroups and regional coalitions comprised of oncologists, survivors, advocates, and those with a vested interest in cancer.

“This plan represents the largest formal effort to address the burden of cancer in the State of Kansas,” said Olivia Burzoni, program manager for the KDHE Cancer Control Program. “We invite everyone to discover their role and responsibility in the fight against cancer, as all may be affected by cancer in some way. It will take all of us to meet this challenge.”

The Kansas Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Control Plan outlines strategies in five priority areas, including prevention, early detection, cancer survivorship, financial burden, health equity, and advocacy and policy. In addition, the plan calls for increased collaboration to address social determinants of health and health equity.

The population-based data collected in Kansas revealed:

* The age-adjusted cancer incidence rates were 15 to 35 percent higher for men than women from 2008 to 2017;

* Cancer mortality rates increase dramatically with age, with the highest rate among Kansans aged 85 and older;

* Kansans who are African American have significantly higher mortality rates than Kansans who are white; and

* Hispanic Kansans have substantially higher mortality rates than non-Hispanic Kansans.

That data is available at .

“Achieving the goals and objectives in this plan will ensure that all Kansans have excellent support systems within their communities, access to quality cancer care, and the resources needed to help deal with the many challenges of cancer,” Dr. Jennifer Bacani, KCP Chairperson and Family Physician, Fredonia Family Care, said.

Visit to download a copy of the 2022-2027 Kansas Comprehensive ed with the Kansas Cancer Partnership.

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