Higher rates of cancer found in Staten Island, Long Island

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NEW YORK — Staten Island, Long Island, Warren County and parts of western New York are all experiencing higher rates of cancer than other parts of New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.

Officials with the state Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Conservation will conduct a health study to determine the cause of higher cancer rates in these areas. About 110,000 New Yorkers are diagnosed with cancer annually. Around 35,000 die from cancer in New York each year.

“If there’s a major problem, it’s something we have to address,” Cuomo said. “But the question is always how do we do more? How do we do more? How do we do more?”

Staten Island, which accounts for just 5.5 percent of the city’s population, accounts for 7.16 percent of New York City’s cancer cases. The rate of cancer for Staten Island women is 18.53 percent higher than the rate for the city as a whole.

Incidences of breast cancer, bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer and thyroid cancer are noticeably higher in the borough than city rates.

It isn’t clear why a greater percentage of Staten Islanders suffer from cancer.

“We need to have those questions answered,” Cuomo said. “We’re doing great on the treatment side. We want to do well on the prevention side.”

The state will study health factors, demographic factors and environmental factors that could be at play.

“We find out what’s causing it, then we’re going to figure out how to prevent it,” Cuomo said.