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Nebraska falls short on cancer-fighting policies

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Posted at 10:23 AM, Aug 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 11:23:18-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — A new report shows that Nebraska falls short when it comes to implementing legislation to prevent and reduce suffering and death from cancer. The latest edition of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s "How Do You Measure Up?" A Progress Report on State Legislative Activity to Reduce Cancer Incidence and Mortality" was released today.

"This year alone in Nebraska, 9,780 people will be diagnosed with cancer and 27.1 percent of cancer deaths in Nebraska are attributed to smoking," said Nick Faustman, Nebraska government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. "We owe it to them and everyone at risk of developing the disease, to do what we know works to prevent cancer and improve access to screenings and treatment.”

The report looks at eight specific areas of public policy that can help fight cancer:
- Increased access to care through Medicaid
- Access to palliative care
- Pain control policies
- Cigarette tax levels
- Smoke-free laws
- Funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs
- Cessation coverage under Medicaid
- Restricting indoor tanning devices for people under 18

The state is doing well in access to Medicaid, as well as access to palliative care. The state falls short in cigarette tax rates, tobacco prevention funding, and indoor tanning restrictions.

To read the full report, click here. To view Nebraska's specific report, click here.