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Erie County partners with UB for outreach program to high cancer areas


A five-year study by the New York State Cancer Registry found four areas of the state had higher than average incidences of lung, kidney, prostate, colorectal, oral and esophageal cancers. While the state continues to collect data and find root causes, Erie County has engaged the University at Buffalo for an outreach program.

“The county wanted to be more proactive,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein. “We are actually working with a multi-disciplinary team for this work.”

That includes partnering with the Jacob’s School of Medicine Primary Care Research Institute, University at Buffalo School of Nursing and a grassroots group of patients from lower-income communities called Patient Voices Network.

The area in question are the neighborhoods bordered by the 33 Expressway to the west and the north, Walden Avenue to the south and the 90 State Thruway to the east.

“We want the community to know what the behavioral risk factors for those cancers so they might be able to change,” Burstein said, “and also what are the recommended screenings and how the county can help through our cancer screening program.”

Burstein encourages people to look on the county’s website for more information on screenings and to contact them with questions. She says they work with nearly every provider in the area that offers some type of screening and treatment plan.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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