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Newscast 2.20.24: Cancer rates growing rapidly in Iowa; Iowa lawmaker back to Legislature after cancer diagnosis; Double homicide reported in Northeast Nebraska

Cancer is rapidly growing in Iowa, a new 2024 report shows.

Iowa has the fastest growing rate of new cancers in the United States, according to a new report out Tuesday from an organization affiliated with the University of Iowa.

The Iowa Cancer Registry’s annual Cancer in Iowa report says an estimated 21,000 Iowans will be diagnosed with cancer this year.

The report found Iowa has the second-highest rate of new cancers in the country, with the top new cancers being breast, prostate and lung.

Iowa Cancer Registry Director Mary Charlton says there’s no one clear cause for cancer, but in addition to family genetics, heavy alcohol use can damage someone’s DNA and cell structure for years even after they quit.

According to the report, Iowa has one of the highest rates of binge drinking in the country.

After missing about a month of legislative activities in Des Moines, Republican State Senator Rocky DeWitt, of Sioux City, is back serving in the Iowa Legislature. DeWitt in January announced he is fighting pancreatic cancer, and would be unable to be at the capitol for some time.

DeWitt announced his return via social media, and thanked the people who wished him well in his health journey. He is a former Woodbury County Board of Supervisors member who is in his second year of his state senate term.

Additionally, the Nebraska State Patrol is investigating a double-homicide that occurred Tuesday morning in Bloomfield.

Details on the people who died are being withheld, while officials work to make notifications to family. The homicide location has been secured, and the state patrol in a release said there is no ongoing threat to the public.

State patrol crime scene investigators are working with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and Bloomfield Police Department on the incident. More investigation details will be released when possible.