The state legislature opted not to help the financially deficient UH Cancer Center by increasing the state cigarette tax. The House Finance Chair wants to know how the center plans to get its financial house in order, and she also said that UH has funds to split up as it sees fit. But what if raising the cigarette prices, again, could get a few more people to finally quit? And what if the extra tax income acted as a short-term solution for the cancer center? And what about the great research already taking place there that might be in jeopardy now?
The incidence of breast cancer in Hawaii is the 3rd most per 100,000 people of any state in the country? We're #7 out of 49 states in cases of cervical cancer and #13 out of 50 states in incidence of colon cancer. And while the survival rates of cancer sufferers here is 2nd best in the nation, shouldn't we be doing more and getting creative to ensure success at the Cancer Center at this critical juncture? Some high profile cases have come forward in the last month which hopefully will remind local folks to get their tests- on time. Perhaps you've heard or read lately about early intervention with Kurt Osaki, Andy Bumatai, and Billy V.
Over 50? Get a colonoscopy and have your PSA and cholesterol checked, guys. Women, check the age charts, talk to your doctor, and get tested for breast and cervical cancer.
The business model for the UH Cancer Center needs to show vast improvement and at least medium-term reasons for optimism. Far too much is at stake here for far too many. But not adding more tax to the addictive cigarette habit is a short-sighted way to possibly teach the Cancer Center and UH a lesson. Think about it…