Cancers: Leading Cancers in Women, Men, & Children (cont.)

Racial and ethnic differences in cancer incidence

  • Overall, cancer incidence rates are higher for whites and blacks than for Asians/Pacific Islanders;

  • Among the leading cancers, prostate cancer among black men is 1.5 times higher than among white men, and 2.7 times higher than among Asians/Pacific Islanders;

  • Breast cancer among white women is about 1.2 times higher than among black women, and 1.7 times higher than among Asians/Pacific Islanders.

Geographic differences in cancer incidence**

  • The District of Columbia has the highest incidence rate of prostate cancer, and Arizona has the lowest;
  • Washington state has the highest incidence of female breast cancer; New Mexico has the lowest;

  • Kentucky has the highest incidence rate of lung cancer for men, and Nevada has the highest rate for women. Utah has the lowest incidence rate of lung cancer for both men and women;

  • Rhode Island has the highest incidence rate of colorectal cancer among men, and Alaska has the highest incidence rate among women. New Mexico has the lowest incidence rate of colorectal cancer for both men and women.

*The following points should be kept in mind when interpreting geographic incidence rates: 1.) States in which a high percentage of the population receive cancer screenings will have more diagnosed cancer cases than states in which a low percentage of the population is screened; and 2.) Relative rankings based on incidence rates do not reflect important factors such as mortality rates that contribute to cancer burden.

United States Cancer Statistics: 2000 Incidence provides a basis for individual states and researchers to describe the variability in cancer incidence rates across different populations and to target certain populations for evidence-based cancer control programs. Future United States Cancer Statistics reports will include data for other racial and ethnic populations.

Cancer rates usually have some uncertainty associated with them and are updated as more information becomes available from registries and as better estimates of state and regional populations become available from the U.S. Census Bureau. The process of recalculating cancer rates is a standard practice.

Source: CDC Press Release (www.cdc.gov)


Last Editorial Review: 7/7/2004