Alaska legislation failing to pass cancer prevention policies


by Derek Smith

 Anchorage, AK-- A number of states are coming up short in passing legislation to help prevent cancer. 

      "Here in Alaska, we only got a green score in two out of the twelve current policies.," American Cancer Society CAN's Government Relations Director Emily Nenon says. 
     Alaska ranks amongst the highest. 
    "I'm just really struck every time I hear this. We have the tools to cut cancer in half, " Renon says. 
     "How you measure up?" A progess report on state legislative activity that monitors reducing cancer policies was released Thursday passing just two out of twelve policies. They are necessary to fight cancer in the state of Alaska. 
     Policies such as smoke-free indoor work places, increased access to medicaid, and breast and cervical cancer early detection funding are in the red.
     "We have a lot of work to do. A lot of it is straightforward, just a matter of pulling together and getting on some of these policies to help prevent cancer in first place," Nenon says. 
     The report is based on a color coated system. Green is good, red is obviously bad. 
     Out of eight reds, only two policies were green. 
     "Out of all the measures on that list, we can tout our success to a very strong tobacco prevention program in the state. There is a fifteen percent decline in smoking among adults and seventy percent in teens, we can't let up," Nenon says. 
     American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network Public Relations director says we have the tools, we just need to utilize them.
     " We can cut them in half by implementing what we know and getting people access to health care," Nenon says.