HHS issues cancer incidence data

February 1, 2003

Pharmaceutical Representative

HHS has released federal data on cancer incidence rates for 1999.

The Department of Health and Human Services has released federal data on cancer incidence rates for 1999. This is the first time these statistics have been broken down by state.

"With this new data, we can better identify, understand and address differences in cancer rates across the country," HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson said. "The state and regional data will prove invaluable to public health officials as they plan and evaluate cancer control programs and conduct research."

The report, "U.S. Cancer Statistics: 1999 Incidence," was produced jointly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute in collaboration with the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, and was compiled from cancer registries that have met criteria and standards of accuracy, completeness and timeliness.

National statistics

On the national level, the study found that:


•Â The leading cancer in men, regardless of race, is prostate cancer, followed by lung/bronchus and colon/rectal cancers. Prostate cancer rates are 1.5 times higher in black men than white men.


•Â The leading cancer in women, regardless of race, is breast cancer, followed by lung/bronchus and colon/rectal cancers in white women, and colon/rectal and lung/bronchus cancers in black women. Breast cancer rates are about 20% higher in white women than in black women.


•Â Melanomas of the skin and cancer of the testis are among the top 15 cancers for white men, but not black men.


•Â Melanomas of the skin and cancer of the brain/other nervous systems are among the top 15 cancers for white women, but not black women.


•Â Multiple myeloma (cancer that arises in plasma cells) and cancer of the stomach are among the top 15 cancers for black women, but not white women.


•Â Multiple myeloma and cancer of the liver are among the top 15 cancers for black men, but not white men.

The report also shows geographic variations in the occurrence of cancer in the United States. It does not include information about cancer deaths.

The full report is available through the CDC's Web site at www.cdc.gov/cancer/npcr/uscs. PR

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