A report issued by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network says South Carolina did not measure up to a single benchmark set by the American Cancer Society for the fight against cancer. The Action Network awards red, yellow, or green codes for each of the six benchmarks with green meaning the state has met the benchmark and red meaning they have not. South Carolina received four reds and two yellows. American Cancer Society Government Relations Director Nancy Cheney says South Carolina deserves better.
“It is called the ‘How Do You Measure Up’ and we in South Carolina…this is our third consecutive year that we did not meet a single benchmark in the ‘How Do You Measure Up’ reports,” said Cheney.
“So, we want our citizens to know that they deserve better than this and it is our goal at the American Cancer Society to bring about change in South Carolina.”
Cheney says one of the ways the American Cancer Society wants to bring change to South Carolina is to get the cigarette tax passed.
“We know that by taxing cigarettes we can prevent our young people from starting to smoke and also curtail smoking among adults,” she said. “We know that tobacco tax also helps reduce death and disease from our tobacco-related illnesses and offsets, you know, the monumental tobacco-related health care costs.”
She says getting everyone in the state government to agree has been their biggest hurdle. According to Cheney, “The hardest thing is to get consensus between the two Houses in the General Assembly as to how and where the money is going to be spent. Therein lies a big problem. That seems to be the hardest problem is that the Senate has a version and the House has a version and trying to get those two the meet is a problem. We also face an override by our governor.”
Cheney says lung cancer is not the only concern in the Palmetto State. “We received a million dollars from the General Assembly to screen for colon cancer and the Scope SC Eligible Program.
“It has certain criteria for the underserved to receive their colon screening. We know that colon cancer can be prevented and it can save your life through this valuable screening.”
According to the report, nearly half of the states in the country do not measure up to the fight against cancer.