How Iowa measures up when it comes to cancer prevention and treatment

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MASON CITY, IA – A new report card released shows Iowa isn’t making the best grades when it comes to the fight against cancer.

The ratings are in and the results aren’t very impressive for Iowa.

The American Cancer Society released a report called “How do you measure up?”

It determines how well each state is doing at preventing and treating cancer, and the legislation in place to support that fight.

“We’ve done some preventative things in the past, we’ve legislated smoke free environments we’ve legislated an increase in tobacco tax so there are things that have been passed,” says Senator Amanda Ragan.

The study looks at 10 different criteria ranging from tobacco tax rates to laws on indoor tanning. Of the 10 criteria Iowa scored well in just 3.

Some critics say that Iowa’s low scores are in part because of failed legislation to pass restrictions on tanning.

”We did have legislations proposed and they’re working on some kind of proposals to work with that whether it’s with piercings or tanning and different restrictions about parental consent,” Ragan explains.

But when it comes to those directly impacted by cancer, sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do the disease can strike.

“You kind of just hear the C-word and kind of automatically think why me again?”

Cassandra Harrison has been diagnosed with cancer not once but twice.

As a two-time survivor she’s received treatment in both Iowa and Minnesota and has been happy with her care.

“In both places I had I was treated very well everywhere from surgeries to treatments, to saying “adios,” we don’t want you to come back anymore.”

While Senator Ragan says she’s always open to work with people to bring up new legislation when it comes to cancer and health care, Harrison thinks when it comes down to it, regardless of laws, people’s habits are sometimes hard to break.

You might think Iowa getting a 3 out of 10 rating is bad but compared to other states it was pretty average.

Minnesota scored similar to Iowa, they did have a better score on funding for tobacco prevention.

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