(HealthDay News) — In 2009, approximately 1.5 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the United States, with an annual incidence rate of 459 cases per 100,000 population, according to research published in the Feb. 22 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

Simple Singh, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from U.S. Cancer Statistics for 2009, including incidence data from the National Program of Cancer Registries and the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program and mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System. Invasive cancers were defined as all cancers except in situ cancers (except in the urinary bladder) or basal and squamous cell skin cancers.

The researchers found that in 2009 there were a total of 1,476,504 invasive cancers diagnosed in the United States, an annual incidence rate of 459 cases per 100,000 population. Cancer incidence rates were higher among men (524) than women (414); varied racially, with highest rates among blacks (473) and lowest rates among American Indian/Alaska Natives (273); and ranged geographically by state (from 387 to 509). Racial differences in cancer rates primarily reflected differences in rates of cancers of the prostate and female breast. Four cancers accounted for half of all cancers diagnosed that year, with rates highest for prostate cancer (137.7 per 100,000 men), female breast cancer (123.1 per 100,000 women), lung and bronchus (64.3 overall), and colon and rectum (42.5 overall).

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“High rates of cancer by race, ethnicity, and state of residence indicate populations that might benefit most from targeted cancer prevention and control efforts,” the authors write. “National cancer surveillance data help public health officials track progress toward the national cancer objectives set forth in Healthy People 2020.”

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