Group releases seven-year plan to fight cancer in state

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A group of health care providers from throughout the state has released a seven-year plan it hopes will decrease cancer deaths in Ohio.
The Ohio Partners for Cancer Control's plan includes a list of 10 goals to improve research, prevention and treatment of the disease.
Ohio is one of 20 states with a plan to combat cancer, American Cancer Society officials said.
"We've taken individuals and organizations in the state that address the issues of prevention, early detection and treatment and put those resources together to fight cancer," said Don McClure, head of the society's Ohio division.
Health officials estimate that in 2003, more than 1 million new cases of cancer could be diagnosed nationally and more than 500,000 people could die from the disease.
In Ohio, more than 60,000 new cases of cancer could be diagnosed this year, and more than 25,000 people could die.
The group's goals are nothing new, said state Health Director J. Nick Baird, a member of the organization's advisory council.
"The key is to take stuff we already know and get people to utilize it," he said.
The council also includes the state division of the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Center and the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The goals are:
  • Increasing education and outreach programs.
  • Decreasing tobacco use.
  • Pushing for wellness benefits in health plans.
  • Promoting early detection testing.
  • Addressing disparities in treating particular population groups.
  • Expanding programs for rural and underserved regions.
  • Finding out what limits patient participation in clinical trials.
  • Encouraging minority participation in clinical trials.
  • Increasing awareness of and access to pain control techniques and offering ways to improve patients' quality of life.
  • Improving the quality of data.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)