Incidences of the five most common forms of cancer are lower in Montgomery County than they are in the rest of the state and throughout the United States.
According to Dr. Chunfu Liu, chief epidemiologist for the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, “Montgomery County rates are consistently lower” in cancers of the lung, colon and rectum, breast, prostate and skin, he said, adding, “Cancer is the leading cause of mortality in Montgomery County,” accounting for 24 percent of deaths.
There are more than 100 types of cancers, he told those attending a March 28 public conversation on cancer in the community at the Silver Spring Civic Building, but he only focused on cancers with the highest mortality rates.
Liu did not state a reason for the County’s lower rates, explaining that there are too many risk factors to be able to come up with a specific reason. Smoking, obesity, excessive drinking, an unhealthy diet and a lack of activity increase a person’s chances of receiving a diagnosis of cancer, said Liu.