ALBANY, N.Y. — The state Health Department is holding public meetings in four New York regions with higher rates of cancer.

The department did studies to identify factors contributing to cancer rates and determine the best approach to prevention and screening.

The regions are in Erie, Warren and Suffolk counties and on Staten Island. The meeting schedule is online.

Investigators found Warren County had the highest rates of all cancers in the state. Contributing factors were smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity and HPV infection.

A meeting is scheduled Nov. 7 at Adirondack Community College in Queensbury.

The East Buffalo/Cheektowaga area was found to have elevated numbers of colorectal, kidney, prostate, oral, esophageal and lung cancers. Tobacco was noted as a contributing factor.

A meeting is set for Oct. 22 at Buffalo Museum of Science.

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