How is Cancer Reported?

Today there are a lot of concerns about cancer. There are a lot of fundraisers for research and advocacy for cancer along with publications on how to live a healthier lifestyle to prevent cancer. But where do you find the facts about cancer?   The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) collects all cancer incidences from the medical industry into a registry called the Ohio Cancer Incidence Surveillance System (OCISS).   The ODH publishes annually the Ohio Cancer Facts and Figures with the assistance from the American Cancer Society and the Ohio State University. This is available on line at

In the 2009 Ohio Facts and Figures report, two significant statistics come to light. The first is that 1 out of every 3 men and woman in the U.S. will have a lifetime risk of developing some kind of evasive cancer. The news is not all bad, mortality rates have decreased in almost every type of cancer from 1990 to 2006. The only cancer that increased was melanoma cancer. While there are many factors, such as heredity and environment, that may cause melanoma cancer, it is one of the easiest to prevent by protecting your skin from ultraviolet rays.

For specific concerns about cancer in your community, the ODH has developed a response protocol to address these concerns. The city of Avon Lake took advantage of this a few years ago. Through the Lorain City Health Department, who is contracted by the City of Avon Lake for health related issues, the city had a health study done for the area. The only more significant type of cancer found in the area was melanoma. Being a lakeshore community may have contributed to this statistic. The study emphasis that preventive measures must be taken.

This year, the Avon Lake Environmental Affairs Advisory Board has taken this message to heart by reaching out to the community at local events to drive the message of melanoma prevention. Speak out to your local government about any concerns you have about cancer or cancer prevention.

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