For Immediate Release
February 4, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

February 4 is World Cancer Day

Did you know that one in four deaths in the U.S. is due to cancer, and that one in three Americans will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime?  Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S., and in Kansas. 

February 4 is World Cancer Day, and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is joining with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) in efforts toward preventing cancer, promoting early screening, detection and treatment, and raising the quality of life for cancer patients.

“It’s extremely important to discuss cancer with your healthcare provider,” stated Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of KDHE.  “By arming ourselves with accurate information and resources, we can make a positive impact on the fight against cancer.”

Cancer is a term that covers more than 100 diseases.  In 2005, almost 13,000 Kansans were diagnosed with cancer, and from 2005 to 2007 an average of 5,371 died of the disease each year. The National Cancer Institute estimates that each day, 3,400 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer and another 1,500 die from it. The WHO estimates that 84 million people worldwide will die of cancer between 2005 and 2015 without intervention. Cancer disproportionately affects the poor, the uninsured and ethnic minorities.

The Kansas Cancer Registry administered by the University of Kansas is used to identify trends in cancer cases among the population.  In collaboration with the KDHE Center for Health and Environmental Statistics, the registry also provides statistics on the number of deaths due to cancer occurring in the state each year.

“The chance of cancer becoming part of our lives is high. If you are not affected personally, it is likely you will have a family member, neighbor, coworker or friend who is,” said Bremby. “Although great progress has been made in the fight against cancer, much remains to be done.”

To learn more about cancer programs, disease information and resources, visit