Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 6 Issue 325 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 20-Nov-2004 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 21-Nov-2004
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Nation's most comprehensive cancer incidence and mortality report shows prostate leading newly diagnosed cancer among men; breast cancer leads for women

The most comprehensive federal report available on state-specific cancer rates for the first time includes information on incidence and death rates, as well as data for Hispanics and a new section on mesothelioma and Kaposi's sarcoma. U.S. Cancer Statistics: 2001 Incidence and Mortality includes quality-assured incidence data from 43 states, six metropolitan areas, and the District of Columbia, covering 92 percent of the U.S. population — up from the coverage rate of 84 percent for the report issued last year. The report supplies essential state, population, racial, ethnic and gender information for tailored cancer prevention and control programs nationwide.

The latest report shows prostate cancer is the leading cancer diagnosed overall in men in the United States and breast cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in U.S. women. The leading cause of cancer death for both men and women is lung cancer.

"Having highly accurate data about which cancers most commonly strike specific groups, such as the Hispanic population, means we can better meet prevention, care and treatment needs. We know from the report that breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for Hispanic women. Breaking out data by racial and ethnic populations, we have a broader and more accurate view of our nation's cancer problem, how it affects our diverse population and how to intervene to combat this disease," said HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson.

Major findings in this year's report include:

  • The District of Columbia has the highest incidence rate of prostate cancer, and Arizona has the lowest;
  • Washington State has the highest incidence rate of female breast cancer, and Texas has the lowest.
  • Utah has the lowest lung cancer incidence rate among men and women.
  • Kentucky has the highest incidence rate of colorectal cancer among men, and New Jersey has the highest incidence rate among women. Utah has the lowest colorectal cancer incidence rate among men and women.

The report also cites geographic differences in cancer mortality including:

  • The District of Columbia has the highest prostate cancer death rate among men; Hawaii has the lowest.
  • The District of Columbia has the highest female breast cancer death rate; South Dakota has the lowest.
  • Kentucky has the highest death rate of lung cancer among men.
  • West Virginia has the highest lung cancer death rate among women.
  • The District of Columbia has the highest colorectal cancer death rates among men and women; Utah had the lowest.

Collecting and reporting state data helps identify special concerns in specific populations, such as high proportions of cervical cancer in Hispanic and African-American women. This information can be used to assist states to focus on appropriate cancer control interventions to increase access to screening and care.

United States Cancer Statistics: 2001 Incidence and Mortality marks the third 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 federal cancer statistics. The annual report provides a basis for individual states and researchers to describe the variability in cancer incidence and death rates across different populations and to focus on certain populations for evidence-based cancer control programs. Future United States Cancer Statistics reports will include data for American Indians/Alaska Natives. The full report is available at and

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