Cancer Death Rates Higher in East Texas Than Other Parts of State

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Officials in East Texas are trying to figure out how to combat the alarming statistic that more people in the East Texas region die from cancer than the rest of the state.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services’ statistics, death rate is determined by the number of deaths caused be cancer out of every 100,000 people in a population (with adjustments made to reflect age inconsistencies between populations). Using this measuring system, if Northeast Texas was taken out of the state it would have a cancer death rate of 170 individuals per 100,000 and the rest of the state would be at 156.

Paul McGaha, who serves deputy director of Northeast Texas Center for Rural Community Health has also worked on a UT Health team concerning population health. He has thought a lot about this issue and takes these statistics very seriously.

KLTV quotes him as saying, “I think we’re all frustrated with reviewing the data every year and seeing we’re last in the state, now it’s time to take action. I’ve lived here almost 30 years. We have great people, a faith-based community, great industry healthcare. We do have some real issues with health status…we aim to mine down why and what can be done.”

Hopefully, officials can come up with a plan to lower the cancer death rate in this area soon.