Utah Policies Don't Make Cancer-Fighting Cut, Study Finds

Aug 21, 2014

A study released this week by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network claims three-quarters of all states are falling short in the fight against cancer.

New study ranks states on how their policies address cancer related issues.
Credit http://www.acscan.org/static/measure/

How Do You Measure Up: A Progress Report on State Legislative Activity to Reduce Cancer Incidence and Mortality looks at 12 state policy areas to see how focused states are in addressing cancer-related issues.

“I think a lot of people probably don’t realize how much state policy influences cancer and how much state legislatures can actually do when it comes to cancer and cancer policies,” said Brooke Carlisle with the ACS Cancer Action Network.

The study looks into various topics of health importance such as tobacco laws, health insurance and tanning, and assigns each state an overall grade.

Carlisle said Utah is succeeding in some areas, such as taxes on cigarettes and smoke -free laws, but overall, she says the state is not faring well.

“Where we don’t do as well is our...access to Medicaid,” Carlisle said. “The Utah legislature is still waiting to make a decision on whether to increase access to their Medicaid program.”

According to the findings, Utah falls short of meeting the study’s desired benchmarks in three of the 12 studied areas.

Only one state met nine out of 12 benchmarks and no other state met more than seven out of 12.

The ACS Cancer Action Network reports that in 2014, 10,780 Utahns will be diagnosed with cancer and 2,870 will die from it.