States With The Highest Cancer Rates
Cancer is a big deal all around the United States. Almost everyone knows someone or they have been directly affected by cancer. Right now in the U.S. cancer is second leading cause of death. Heart Disease is the number one leading cause of death. 1.5 million people were diagnosed with cancer in the U.S in 2019. More than half a million resulted in death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predict a rise of new cases across the U.S. in 2020 close to 2 million. These are some big numbers. Cancer death rates are on a decline with the progress of new treatments and understanding cancer better. Death rates are down 27% between 1991 and 2016. The advancements in the fight against this terrible disease is going in a positive direction. The rise in new cases is scary don’t get me wrong, but a doctor of Oncology, Dr. Joseph Lynch, was quoted as saying , “The reason for the increased diagnoses is the fact that people live longer and the risk of developing the disease increases with age.” Dr. Lynch says that age is the biggest risk factor of cancer. Most cancers develop in older adults versus younger adults.
Now, this got me thinking, which states have the highest rate of cancer and why is each state different? I did some research and it was quite interesting what I was able to find out on this topic.
Every year there is roughly 448 new cases of cancer diagnosed per 100,000 people. There is roughly 161 cancer deaths per 100,000 people. Now, these numbers vary depending on which state you live in and here is some possible reasons why. States that are poor (residents under the poverty line) generally do not get the cancer screening done or offered to them as more wealthy states (residents over the poverty line). Poverty is not the only factor in determining if a state is considered wealthy or poor. Unemployment rates and low minimum wages always play a factor in gathering data to determine these rankings. World Atlas has a good article explaining how states are ranked. This is just one part of the data on why cancer rates are higher or lower. Tobacco, lifestyle and obesity data also factored into these rankings for each state.
Top 5 Highest Cancer Rates
5. New York – 475 cancer cases for every 100,000 people and 145 cancer deaths for every 100,000 people
4. New Hampshire – 481 cancer cases for every 100,000 people and 164 cancer deaths for every 100,000 people
3. Pennsylvania – 483 cancer cases for every 100,000 people and 164 cancer deaths for every 100,000 people
2. Delaware – 87 cancer cases for every 100,000 people and 171 cancer deaths for every 100,000 people
1 Kentucky – 510 cancer cases for every 100,000 people and 194 cancer deaths for every 100,000 people
Kentucky is ranked number one and you might be wonder why Kentucky? Kentucky according to World Atlas is fifth poorest state in the U.S. Kentucky has a very high rate of lung cancer, 66 deaths per 100,000 people die of lung cancer in Kentucky. The national average of deaths by lung cancer is 42 deaths to 100,00 people. Tobacco farming is very big industry in Kentucky as well and that could explain why 24.6% of adults smoke cigarettes which is is the highest rate in the country. This explains why Kentucky is ranked number 1.
Top 5 Lowest Cancer Rates
5. California – 386 cancer cases for every 100,000 people and 140 cancer deaths for every 100,000 people
4. Nevada – 385 cancer cases for every 100,000 people and 159 cancer deaths for every 100,000 people
3. District of Columbia – 378 cancer cases for every 100,000 people and 156 cancer deaths for every 100,000 people
2. Arizona – 376 cancer cases for every 100,000 people and 139 cancer deaths for every 100,000 people
1 New Mexico – 359 cancer cases for every 100,000 people and 140 cancer deaths for every 100,000 people
Here is full rankings of all 50 states Click here to see the states with the highest cancer rates.
The top 10 with the higher cancer rates are primarily the Northeast and New England. The top 10 states with lowest cancer rates are mainly in the West. This is not just wealthy vs poor state rankings remember. Average age of residents in each state were also used. As I stated earlier age play a big part in cancer. The West has a younger median age than the Northeast and New England. Another good point I read was from Rebecca Siegel. Rebecca is epidemiologist and strategic director of surveillance information services at the American Cancer Society. Rebecca made a statement on her opinion, “Western states generally have the lowest cancer incidence rates because of healthier lifestyles like less smoking (except Nevada) and obesity”.
There has been no study to back this up, this is just Rebecca’s opinion. I agree with her opinion. I think when you look at the states in the West versus the states in the Midwest through New England, the lifestyle is more healthy. People are outside and not cooped up in there house for months and months. Being able to go outdoors and doing outdoor activities helps people control their weight and keeps their mood positive. Areas that have more sunshine people motivation and overall mood is better. When you live in the Northeast and New England, there is months and months of no sunshine. People tend to get depressed and unmotivated to exercise. Most people tend to hibernate during the winter months and sit around watching tv shows. The weather plays a big role in people health.
Here is a blog post I published with the sunniest and cloudiest cities in the U.S. https://thoughtsbyfiddler.com/2200/cloudy-and-sunny-cities/01/23/2020/ I hope all my readers and their family’s stay healthy and cancer free. This a terrible disease and hopefully one day medicine will advance enough to make cancer a thing of the past.
Thoughts By Fiddler http://www.facebook.com/fiddler001 #thoughtsbyfiddler
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