Home News Cancer in the U.S.: 15 States With the Highest Rates of Diagnoses

Cancer in the U.S.: 15 States With the Highest Rates of Diagnoses

cancer patient

cancer patient A patient receives chemotherapy treatment at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville, North Carolina. | Chris Hondros/Getty Images

If you live in the United States, chances are someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer. In 2017, the American Cancer Society predicts there will be just under 1.7 million new cases of the disease and 600,920 deaths from some type of cancer across the nation.

In both men and women, there is expected to be the highest rate of new breast cancer diagnoses. Lung and bronchus, prostate, colorectum, melanoma of the skin, and urinary bladder cancers are the other most common types predicted by the American Cancer Society. Lung and bronchus cancer are predicted to be the most fatal in 2017, followed by colorectum and pancreatic cancers.

According to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 8.7% of American adults have been diagnosed with some form of cancer. However, some states have a much higher rate of diagnosis than others. The CDC collects data on all cancer diagnoses in the country and organizes them by state. The most recent data available is from 2013 and includes the rate of diagnoses for every 100,000 people per state. The national average is 439 diagnoses for every 100,000 people living in the U.S.

Some states have a much lower diagnosis rate. New Mexico had the lowest rate in the country from the CDC’s most recent data, at 363.7 diagnoses per 100,000 people. Arizona’s rate was 370.6, and Wyoming’s rate was 382 — the next two lowest rates nationwide. But as we’ll see on the following pages, the rates of diagnoses for the states on the other end of the spectrum are all significantly higher than the national average, with the two worst states having rates over 500 diagnoses per 100,000 people.

Here are the 15 states with the most cancer diagnoses per 100,000 people.

15. Illinois

Rate of diagnoses per 100,000 people: 454.9

The bustling, populous, Midwestern state of Illinois evidently has an issue with carcinogens. It’s not the only state in the region struggling with issues related to cancer diagnoses, but it does have more — 454.9 per 100,000 — than its neighboring states of Wisconsin and Indiana.