State-by-state prevalence of the 5 most common types of cancer |

In his 2010 book, “The Emperor of Diseases”, Siddhartha Mukherjee called cancer “not one disease but many diseases” that share a “fundamental characteristic: abnormal cell growth”. What was at one point in history (not so far removed from ours) a “whispered disease” has become the target of a worldwide effort to thwart its onset.

Some forms of cancer are more common than others, especially at advanced stages of development. Stacker analyzed cancer incidence data from the National Cancer Institute and the CDC to determine where the five most common forms of cancer are most prevalent.

The yearly averages for each slide are calculated from data compiled between 2014 and 2018 and have been adjusted for patient age. The data has been adjusted to account for the increased likelihood of older people developing cancer, and state-by-state maps reflect rates of each type of cancer per 100,000 people.

The following list is derived from the National Institutes of Health’s 2022 projection estimates for the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States, although the projection totals themselves are not included as a data point; a direct comparison would be misleading as this dataset uses compiled and age-adjusted historical data.

Cancer incidence, survival and mortality rates are population-based indicators of progress in cancer control. The mortality/incidence ratio can be broadly defined as the percentage of death certificates that include the person’s diagnosis of cancer and specify the type of cancer. However, the mortality/incidence ratio should not necessarily be interpreted as the survival rate. A diagnosis of cancer on a death certificate may have occurred at any time in the past and does not necessarily mean that the person died of cancer.

Stacker also looked at risk factors for these common cancers, ways to reduce risk, and cancer screening methods.

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