Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the United States, coming only behind heart disease. One out of every four deaths in the U.S. is from canacer. Cancer is a disease that occurs when abnormal cells divide and begin to destroy body tissue. Cancer can affect nearly any part of the body. Some cancers can also shed cells into the bloodstream and spread throughout other parts of the body. Cancer tends to be more prevalent in high-income countries, including the United States, due to lifestyle factors. These include smoking, obesity, and alcohol intake. Because these factors vary significantly from state-to-state, so do cancer rates.
Cancer Rates by State
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 1.701 million new cancer cases in the United States in 2017. Nearly 600,000 people in the U.S. died as a result of cancer. When breaking this down, nearly 438 new cases were reported for every 100,000 people, while 153 out of every 100,000 people died of cancer. Female breast cancer was the most common type of cancer when it came to new cases reported in 2017, affecting 125.1 out of 100,000 people. Prostate cancer, lung cancer, and colon and rectum cancer were also the most prevalent types of cancers. Most deaths occurred in people with cancer of the lung and bronchus, followed by female breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon and rectum cancer.
The states with the lowest cancer rates are New Mexico, Arizona, California, Colorado, and Utah. All of these states have rates below 400 cases per 100,000 people.