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


Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D.
Frederick Hecht, M.D.
Medical Editors,

Latest Cancer Incidence Report Shows Prostate Leading Cancer Among Men, Breast Cancer Leads for Women

The most comprehensive federal report available on state-specific cancer incidence rates for the first time includes information on Asians/Pacific Islanders as well as a new section on childhood cancers. U.S. Cancer Statistics: 2000 Incidence - released today by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - also shows prostate cancer is the leading cancer overall in men in the United States and breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in U.S. women.

The latest report marks the second time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), in collaboration with the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, have combined data to produce official federal statistics on cancer incidence.

The report includes data from 41 states, six metropolitan areas, and the District of Columbia, covering 84 percent of the U.S. population - up from the coverage rate of 78 percent for the 1999 report issued last year.

"The increase in the coverage rate can be attributed to more statewide registries meeting data quality criteria for inclusion in this report. Our goal is to continue to provide detailed information from population-based central cancer registries to better conduct research and guide effective cancer prevention and control programs," said HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson.

The race categories for national data were expanded this year to include cancer incidence for Asians/Pacific Islanders in addition to whites and blacks. A new section describing cancer incidence among children and adolescents also is included in this year's publication.

Some major findings of the report include

  • Prostate cancer is the leading cancer affecting men of all races in the United States, followed by lung cancer and colorectal cancer;

  • The fourth most common cancer was urinary bladder cancer for white men; cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx for black men; and stomach cancer for Asian/Pacific Islander men.

  • Breast cancer is the leading cancer among women of all races in the United States;

  • Among white women, lung cancer is the second most common cancer and colorectal is the third most common cancer. Among black and Asian/Pacific Islander women, colorectal cancer and lung cancer are the second and third most common cancers, respectively;

  • The fourth leading cancer among women of all races in the United States is cancer of the uterus, not including cervical cancer;

  • The most common childhood cancers are leukemias, followed by cancer of the central nervous system, and lymphomas and reticuloendothelial neoplasms (specific white blood cell cancers).

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