PORTLAND (NEWS CENTER Maine) — New Hampshire and Maine have among the highest rates of pediatric cancer in the country, according to a report from the CDC. The report may hold data that could prove key in helping patients get treatment.
New Hampshire ranked No. 1 in the country with a little more than 205 cases per one million people – 816 cases over an 11-year period. Maine ranked No. 4 with a little more than 190 cases per one million people – 725 cases between 2003-2014.
The data could help public health officials address the long-term health care needs of patients.
Eighty percent of children and teenagers diagnosed with cancer have a survival rate of five years. Doctors at the Children's Cancer Program at Maine Medical Center said the report sheds very little light on the reasons behind the increase.
"I think having an awareness to cancer is always important, and that may lead to a couple of more cases that come through at an earlier time point," said Dr. Stanley Chaleff, a pediatric oncologist at the cancer center. "I don't know what to do with the numbers, given that we are the fourth-highest rate in the country and certainly don't know why."
Our nation's capitol, New Jersey and New York were in the top five states with the highest number of cases. South Carolina and Mississippi had the lowest rates of pediatric cancer.
That data is expected to help public health officials improve the survival rate of kids battling cancer.
Read the full report at cdc.gov.