First-ever Nebraska cancer assessment finds high mortality rates & major disparities


LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center at UNMC revealed findings this week that could help Nebraskans battle the deadly disease.

Its first-ever statewide assessment uncovered barriers and disparities that the state needs to overcome, to save more lives.

People in rural communities say high costs and long travel distances are top burdens to getting the care they need.

They also shared concerns about the lack of support services.

Researchers then broke down the data by age, gender and race.

Nebraska’s pediatric cancer mortality rate is significantly higher than other states.

It’s currently 3.1 deaths per 100,000 population, while the U.S. is 2.4.

Mortality rates are significantly higher for three different types of cancer as well, when comparing Nebraska to the rest of the country.

Males here are more likely to die from esophageal cancer, kidney cancer and leukemia.

Substantial differences in health risks are also noted in the assessment.

47% of the Hispanic population is up-to-date on colorectal screenings, compared to 75% of white people.

There’s also a large gap when taking smoking into account.

35% of Native Americans reported they currently smoke in the assessment, compared to 15% of the white population.

The center says all of this information will help enhance collaboration between partner organizations, to make a greater impact on cancer care in Nebraska.

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