Strategic Plan Released for Reducing West Virginia Cancer Rates

Apr 21, 2016

Credit tawesit / Adobe Stock

The West Virginia cancer coalition Mountains of Hope released a five-year strategic plan for reducing the impact of cancer the state. Its goal is to create a centralized framework that collaborating health care practitioners, policymakers and advocates can follow to reduce cancer rates in the state.

More than 11,000 West Virginians are diagnosed with cancer each year, and almost 5,000 die from cancer-related diseases, according to the WV Cancer Registry. Behind heart disease, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the state. Lung, prostate, breast and colorectal cancer account for more than half of all cases.

The new plan includes five overarching goals of prevention -- early detection, treatment, improving the quality of life of patients and achieving health equity. Specifically, the plan calls for increasing screening rates, improving access to healthy foods, increasing physical activity and reducing smoking rates in West Virginia.

Mountains of Hope Cancer Coalition includes more than 200 organizations ranging cancer societies to universities to state agencies. They hope to achieve all goals outlined in the plan by the year 2020. What will it cost and what is the funding mechanism?

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.