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Coordinated Approach Preventing and Reducing South Dakota Cancer Deaths

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009   

Yankton, SD – April is National Cancer Control month, and the American Cancer Society in South Dakota is using the observance to educate the public about the South Dakota Comprehensive Cancer Control Consortium. That coalition was formed to share and create ideas on cancer prevention and control, and it's open for members of the public to get involved.

The group chair is Dr. Mary Milroy, a Yankton doctor who has devoted her surgical practice to breast disease. She says the consortium's work is important because cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the state, with more than 1600 South Dakotans expected to die from the disease this year alone.

"It touches so many lives, and when a person is diagnosed it doesn't just affect them; it involves their family, their workplace. And so I think this is a group that is realizing that, by pulling together and combining resources and skills and ideas; that's going to be the very most effective way to decrease that burden of cancer that our whole state bears right now."

Denise Kolba with the American Cancer Society chairs one of the consortium's many working sub-groups. She says those work groups have been coming together to address cancer prevention, early detection, survivorship, treatment, access to care, and end-of-life issues.

"Basically, that's what it is; it's just collaboration. We know there's strength in numbers. Voices speaking in unity are more effective. So if we can pool people-power and resources, getting things done as a statewide coalition means we can get more accomplished faster than organizations that work independently."

Milroy says the consortium’s goal is to reduce the number of new cancer cases in South Dakota. And to do that they're actively seeking new input and members for the state's new cancer plan, which begins in 2011. Those interested can get involved by calling the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345.




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