Get Screened Blog

Colon Cancer Rates: Which States Have The Most Cases of Colon Cancer?

The American Cancer Society recently released their 2015 Cancer Facts and Figures report, which includes over 50 pages of charts, statistics and information about various cancers around America. 

We were most interested in the colon cancer statistics, so we looked at the state-by-state comparison of incidence rates in men and women. Using the information from the table, we created a color-coded map of the US to illustrate the areas that have the most incidences of colon cancer, and which have the least.

Colon cancer can often be prevented by getting regular screening. This could suggest that the darkest states below may benefit the most from some extra screening. 

First, let's take a look at the map for incidence rates in men: exs-er-usmap-men-2014

A few takeaways from this map:

  • The Rocky Mountain Region contains all of the nation’s best performing states.
  • The coasts tend to have lower incidence rates than the inland states, with the midwest and deep south in particularly dire straights
  • Not all is lost for Kentucky, which has seen its incidence rate fall steadily in recent years. Exact Sciences featured an interview with the executive director of the Colon Cancer Prevention Project, a Kentucky-based non-profit initiative.  

The top 5:

     1. Utah (38.1 incidences per 100,000 people)

     2. Arizona (41.1)

     3. Colorado (41.8)

     4. New Mexico (43)

     5. Vermont (43.3)

The bottom 5:

     46. North Dakota (57.2)

     47. West Virginia (57.5)

     48. Mississippi (60.3)

     49. Louisiana (60.8)

     50. Kentucky (62.4) 


Now, let's look at the map for women in America:


A few takeaways from this map:

  • The states with the biggest difference between incidence rate in men and women are Hawaii (56.5 in men, 37.4 in women) and Kentucky (62.4 and 45). The states with the smallest difference are New Hampshire (45.1 and 38) and Vermont (43.3 and 36.1).
  • In general, the incidence rates in women are more similar from state to state than those in men. The difference between the highest and lowest rate in men is 24.3, but only 14.6 in women.
  • The misconception that women aren’t affected by colon cancer is clearly disproven here. Women from Kentucky get colon cancer more often than men from 9 different states. 

The top 5: 

     1. Utah (30.4)

     2. Arizona (31.4)

     3. New Mexico (32.2)

     4. Colorado (32.8)

     5. Idaho (34.5)

The bottom 5:

     46. West Virginia (42.5)

     47. Nebraska (42.9)

     48. Louisiana (43.5)

     49. Mississippi (44)

     50. Kentucky (45)

As you can see, there are many places around the country that could use some help when it comes to getting people screened. Reach out to your friends and family to help the nation Be Seen and Get Screened

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Topics: Colon Cancer Statistics