Despite implementing a state policy change allowing better treatment options for women with breast and cervical cancer, Arizona still falls short on combatting cancer, according to a new report by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). How Do You Measure up?: A Progress Report on State Legislative Activity to Reduce Cancer Incidence and Mortality evaluates each state’s activity on seven issues crucial to winning the fight against cancer.

The report by ACS CAN, the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, finds that Arizona measured up to benchmarks in only two of the seven issues.

Now in its 10th year, How Do You Measure Up? grades seven key state policy areas nationwide: breast and cervical cancer early detection program funding; colorectal screening coverage laws; smoke-free laws; tobacco prevention program funding; tobacco taxes; state tanning bed bans for minors; and access to palliative care.

A color-coded system classifies how well a state is doing. Green shows that a state has adopted well-balanced policies and good practices; yellow indicates moderate movement toward the benchmark and red shows where states are falling short.

The report also offers a blueprint for effective legislation on matters such as tobacco cessation funding; regulating indoor tanning devices; obesity, nutrition and physical activity; and quality of life.

To assist state lawmakers with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the report provides a model framework for establishing consumer-friendly state health exchanges and protecting Medicaid programs — a critical lifeline for many cancer patients.

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