Cancer Rates Are Leveling Off

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A new study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows death rates from cancer steadily declined from 1994 to 1998. But the rates have since leveled off.

Lung cancer still remains the number one cancer killer in America. The American Cancer Society estimates that eight out of 10 lung cancer deaths are due to smoking.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Kentucky not only leads the way in percentage of smokers in the population, but also has the highest lung cancer death rates in the country.

The state health department says it will spend $4.8 million on tobacco control programs this year--an amount that still falls far short of the $25 million recommended by the CDC for the state. This puts Kentucky in 40th place overall for tobacco control spending.

Health officials say they are doing the best they can with the funds available for tobacco control programs.