Health and Human Services today released the most comprehensive federal data available to date on state-specific cancer incidence rates. 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, the report provides state-specific and regional data for cancer cases diagnosed in 1999, the most recent year for which data is available. According to the data, compiled from cancer registries in 37 states and six metropolitan areas including Washington, the leading cancer in men, regardless of race, is prostate cancer, followed by lung/bronchus. The leading cancer in women, regardless of race, is breast cancer, followed by lung/bronchus. "With this new data, we can better identify, understand and address differences in cancer rates across the country," HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson said in a written statement. The state and regional data, which represents roughly 78% of the U.S. population--previous reports on cancer incidence used data from smaller samples of the U.S. population--will be used by public health officials to help direct effective cancer-prevention and -control programs or other interventions. The report also shows geographic variations in the occurrence of cancer in the U.S. but does not include information about cancer deaths. -- by Julie Piotrowski
HHS releases data on state-specific cancer rates
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