Studies: Southern IL cancer patients die more often than those in other parts of state

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Cancer patients in southern Illinois die more often than in other parts of the state.

Those are the findings presented by Doctor David Steward of the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.

Dr. Steward shared details from two studies that looked into cancer rates in the state. One study found the rate of being diagnosed with cancer doesn't change according to where patients live.

However, rates of death, especially among lung cancer patients, is higher down state.

"The difference between the southern sixteen counties and the rest of the state is about 40 percent," said Dr. Steward. There is a 40 percent higher death rate from lung cancer in that area than there is in the rest of the state."

Dr. Steward said he studied the number as a way to better address the needs of rural areas, like southern Illinois.

The highest risk factor for lung cancer is cigarette smoking, which is statistically higher in southern Illinois.

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