New Web Site Maps Cancer Mortality By Region
Health-Track, a national public health project funded by the Pew Charitable Trust, has launched a new Web site that maps out cancer "hot spots" in the United States, informing consumers of the potential cancer risks in certain areas, USA Today reports. The new Web site -- health-track.org -- uses a color-coded map to provide information about cancer death statistics complied by the National Cancer Institute. Users can view statistics on eight types of cancer -- bladder, brain, breast, Hodgkin's disease, leukemia, liver, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and prostate -- for the entire country, or they can focus on a region, state, county or town (Fackelmann, USA Today, 2/26). Users also can view cancer rates by race and sex, with reports available for white males, white females, African-American males and African-American females (Health-Track Web site, 2/26). In addition, users can view an overlay that highlights regions where the EPA has received reports of industries releasing carcinogenic chemicals into the environment. However, Elizabeth Whelan, president of the industry advocacy group American Council on Science and Health, said that the Web site "distracts from the known causes of cancer and generates unfounded fears" since "there is no evidence that exposure to trace amounts of chemicals in the environment causes human cancers." But Jim O'Hara, executive director of Health-Track, said that while toxic chemicals "are just one of many possible causes of cancer," the site "makes no claim that these toxins actually caused the cancer in question." Instead, O'Hara said that the information contained on the map "will let people start asking local health officials about cancer and the pollutants that may be fouling their air, land or water" (USA Today, 2/26). To view the map, go to http://maps.health-track.org/health-track/default.htm. Please note, you will need to download Autodesk Map Guide viewer to view the map.