LSU Health NO Public Health Cancer Plan Strives to Reduce Cancer Deaths

LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health’s Louisiana Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan 2017-2021 provides a roadmap to reduce cancer deaths in Louisiana over the next five years. The plan, created by LSU Health New Orleans’ Louisiana Comprehensive Cancer Control Program and its partner organizations, is available here

The plan presents Louisiana-specific cancer information, describes the state's goals and objectives around cancer, identifies and describes initiatives and strategies to achieve the goals and objectives, and coordinates the efforts and resources of the leading cancer organizations. The success of the cancer plan will be evaluated by analyzing the progress towards and the achievement of each goal and objective.

The plan identifies factors that contribute to Louisiana’s poor cancer incidence and mortality rates, as well as its 49th state health ranking. They include tobacco exposure, obesity, health disparities, and access to health care.

The plan lays out strategies to reduce cancer risk, detect cancers earlier, improve outcomes after diagnosis, and improve survival and quality of life among cancer survivors. They include increasing availability of patient navigation services at the community level; assisting with enrollment in the health insurance marketplace and Medicaid; encouraging men and women with health insurance to use no-cost, early detection cancer screenings; increasing cancer screening rates by collaborating with Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to use evidence-based interventions; focusing resources and identifying areas for early detection interventions by using data visualization software to map Louisiana cancer data; working with communities and key partners to create a smoke-free Louisiana; and implementing policy, systems, and environmental changes to reduce obesity.

“The bad news is that Louisiana is currently ranked fourth in the nation for deaths from cancer,” notes Donna Williams, DrPH, Associate Dean of Public Health Practice and Community Engagement at LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health. “The good news is that about half of all cancers can be prevented or detected early and cured.  For example, now, with the availability of HPV testing and vaccination, the reality is that no woman in our state should get cervical cancer, much less die from it. But we must work collectively to increase vaccination, testing, and treatment.  The 2017-2021 Louisiana Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan represents a map of how we can spend the next five years addressing the cancers in our state that lend themselves to prevention and early detection.”

Working with partners statewide, LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health administers several cancer control programs in Louisiana to eliminate suffering and death by focusing on cancers that can be prevented or detected early and cured. LSU Health New Orleans is one of the rare academic recipients of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Comprehensive Cancer Program grants. LSU Health New Orleans programs currently cover breast, cervical and HPV, colorectal, as well as lung and other tobacco-related cancers.