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Am J Prev Med. 2014 Mar;46(3 Suppl 1):S81-6. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2013.10.034.

The role of a state health agency in promoting cancer prevention at the community level: examples from New York State.

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New York State Department of Health, Albany, New York. Electronic address:
New York State Department of Health, Albany, New York.
CDC, Atlanta, Georgia.


Cancer is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. and more work is needed to decrease the number of new cancer cases and the number of cancer cases diagnosed at a late stage. In New York State, about 106,000 people are diagnosed with cancer each year, 37% of which are diagnosed in adults aged 45-64 years and 55% in those aged ≥65 years. State health agencies are in a unique role to support implementation of cancer prevention strategies at the local level that may have a large impact on the burden of cancer by changing the context in which an individual makes health decisions. The New York State Department of Health, with support through the CDC, is implementing an 18-month cancer prevention demonstration project in two counties aimed at increasing access to nutritious foods, promoting exclusive breastfeeding and decreasing barriers to obtainment of cancer screening. The specific activities being used by the two counties are highlighted, and promising results after the first 6 months of the project are described. Lessons learned from these projects will be reported at regular intervals and used to inform development of larger, statewide initiatives aimed at reducing cancer incidence and death in New York State.

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