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The American Cancer Society says Indiana is one of many states not doing enough to prevent cancer.
A report from the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network highlights seven areas of cancer prevention efforts, and Indiana is rated as “doing well” only in screenings for colon cancer.
The cancer prevention group says Indiana is falling short in two key areas: adequately funding breast and cervical cancer early detection programs and tanning bed bans.
American Cancer Society Indiana Program Director Amanda Estridge says her organization will encourage the legislature to increase cancer screening funding next session and push for the General Assembly to address tanning beds.
“We’d like to see a ban for anyone under the age of 18 from using those tanning bed products,” she says. “Of course, at any age, using tanning beds puts you at risk for cancer.”
Bloomington Democratic Representative Peggy Welch points out that the state requires parental consent for a minor to use a tanning bed. Welch, who is also a cancer nurse, says she expects legislation next session on the issue, but she says the state tends to be very careful and deliberate before regulating personal activity.
“I will need to see for myself the evidence that indicates how dangerous it is for a person under the age of 18 getting artificial tanning,” she says.
Welch says she will advocate for the legislature to increase funding for breast and cervical cancer early detection programs.