By Lynne Adkins
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — New state numbers indicate cancer rates in Pennsylvania are on the rise along with survival rates.
The latest figures show that more than 200 Pennsylvanians were diagnosed with invasive cancer every day in 2012. Dr. Marilyn Heine, with the Regional Hematology Oncology Associates in Langhorne, says cancer is the second leading cause of death in the Commonwealth — with lung and bronchial cancers the most common — because of smoking.
“While there are healthy lifestyle changes we can make to reduce our risk of cancer, cancer incidence is projected to grow,” Heine says, “mainly because of our aging population.”
She says a shortage of physicians could present a problem as oncology doctors are also aging and reductions in federal reimbursements are forcing many to close their practices.
“In Pennsylvania, 50% of hematologists and medical oncologists are over 50,” Heine says, “an age when statistics show that many physicians decrease patient care activities.”