Augusta, Georgia, has been named the city with the highest cancer rates in the state, according to a new report from the Georgia Department of Public Health. The report found that the cancer incidence rate in Augusta is 17% higher than the state average.
Background on Cancer in Georgia
Georgia has one of the highest cancer rates in the nation. In 2018, there were over 56,000 new cancer cases diagnosed in Georgia, and over 18,000 cancer deaths. Cancer is the leading cause of death in Georgia, accounting for nearly one-third of all deaths.
Factors Contributing to High Cancer Rates in Augusta
|Factor||Description||Impact on Cancer Rates|
|Poverty||Augusta has a high poverty rate, which is a major risk factor for cancer.||People who live in poverty are more likely to smoke, eat unhealthy foods, and lack access to healthcare, all of which can increase the risk of cancer.|
|Environmental factors||Augusta is located in an area with high levels of air pollution, which is another risk factor for cancer. The city is also home to several industrial facilities that emit cancer-causing chemicals.||Air pollution and exposure to cancer-causing chemicals can increase the risk of cancer.|
|Access to healthcare||Augusta has a shortage of healthcare providers, which makes it difficult for people to get the screenings and treatment they need to prevent and detect cancer.||Lack of access to healthcare can lead to late-stage cancer diagnosis and treatment, which can decrease the chances of survival.|
There are a number of factors that contribute to the high cancer rates in Augusta. These include:
- Poverty: Augusta has a high poverty rate, which is a major risk factor for cancer. People who live in poverty are more likely to smoke, eat unhealthy foods, and lack access to healthcare, all of which can increase the risk of cancer.
- Environmental factors: Augusta is located in an area with high levels of air pollution, which is another risk factor for cancer. The city is also home to several industrial facilities that emit cancer-causing chemicals.
- Access to healthcare: Augusta has a shortage of healthcare providers, which makes it difficult for people to get the screenings and treatment they need to prevent and detect cancer.
Efforts to Address Cancer in Augusta
There are a number of efforts underway to address cancer in Augusta. These include:
- Increasing access to healthcare: The Augusta University Medical Center is working to expand access to cancer care by opening new clinics and providing more services at existing clinics.
- Reducing exposure to environmental carcinogens: The city of Augusta is working to reduce air pollution and emissions from industrial facilities.
- Promoting healthy lifestyles: The Augusta YMCA and other organizations are working to promote healthy lifestyles, such as eating healthy foods, exercising, and not smoking.
What can I do to reduce my risk of cancer?
There are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of cancer, including:
- Quit smoking: Smoking is the leading cause of preventable cancer deaths. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do to reduce your risk of cancer.
- Eat a healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet that is low in processed foods, red meat, and sugary drinks and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help to reduce your risk of cancer.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese increases your risk of many types of cancer. Losing weight, even a small amount, can help to reduce your risk.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise can help to reduce your risk of cancer. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
- Limit alcohol consumption: Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of several types of cancer. If you drink alcohol, limit your intake to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
- Get regular screenings: Early detection of cancer can lead to more successful treatment. Get regular screenings for the types of cancer that are most common in your family or that you are at increased risk for.
What are some resources for people who have been affected by cancer?
There are a number of resources available for people who have been affected by cancer, including:
- The American Cancer Society (ACS) is a great resource for information and support for people who have been affected by cancer. The ACS has a website with a wealth of information about cancer, as well as a hotline that you can call to speak with a live cancer information specialist.
- The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is another great resource for information about cancer. The NCI has a website with information about cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and research.
- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is a non-profit organization that provides support and services to people with leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, and myeloma. LLS has a website with information about these cancers, as well as a hotline that you can call to speak with a live cancer information specialist.
The high cancer rates in Augusta are a serious public health concern. However, there are a number of efforts underway to address the problem. By increasing access to healthcare, reducing exposure to environmental carcinogens, and promoting healthy lifestyles, we can work to reduce the incidence of cancer in Augusta and improve the health of our community.