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Smoking eyed in higher upstate NY lung cancer rate

By Associated Press / WKTV

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - An American Cancer Society analysis shows higher lung cancer rates in upstate New York than in New York City, a trend society officials attribute to higher smoking rates in poorer areas.

The report Monday, based on State Cancer Registry data from 2004 to 2008, says prostate, colorectal, breast and lung cancers account for about half the state's cases and deaths. There a major geographic difference only in lung cancer.

That tracks state health department data showing a 13 percent smoking rate among city residents compared with 17 percent upstate.

In 2011, the society estimates 107,000 New Yorkers were diagnosed with cancer while 34,000 died from the disease.

"Tobacco rates are generally higher in rural areas," said Robert Elinskas of the American Cancer Society. "new York City has a much higher tax on tobacco products, so that means less people are using the product. It is a deterrent to people."

The National Cancer Institute says an estimated 1.6 million Americans will be diagnosed and 577,000 will die this year.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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