Cancers: Leading Cancers in Women, Men, & Children

Leading cancers in women, men, and children

Leading Cancers in Women, Men, & Children

For Women: Breast cancer is the leading type of cancer developing new each year women in the US. Lung cancer is the second most common form of cancer developing each year in women. Lung cancer is far and away the leading cause of death from cancer in women in the USA. Cancers of the colon and rectum is third most common among white women. The number 2 and 3 cancers are reversed among black and Asian/Pacific Island women. For all women, the fourth leading cancer is cancer of the uterus.

For Men: Prostate cancer is the leading cancer diagnosed in men in the US each year. It is followed by lung cancer and then colorectal cancer. The fourth most common cancer is race-dependent. It is bladder cancer for white men, cancer of the mouth and throat for black men; and stomach cancer for Asian/Pacific Island men. Lung cancer remains the most common cause of cancer death in men in the USA.

For Children: The most common malignancies in childhood are leukemia, followed by brain tumors, and lymphoma.

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Latest Cancer Incidence Report Shows Prostate Leading Cancer Among Men, Breast Cancer Leads for Women 

The most comprehensive federal report available on state-specific cancer incidence rates for the first time includes information on Asians/Pacific Islanders as well as a new section on childhood cancers. U.S. Cancer Statistics: 2017 data from the Cancer Facts and Figures 2017 from the American Cancer Society and available at cancer.org. Reports on the data from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, the National Center for Health Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also shows prostate cancer is the leading cancer overall in men in the United States and breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in U.S.

Some major findings of the report include

  • Prostate cancer is the leading cancer affecting men of all races in the United States, followed by lung cancer and colorectal cancer;  
  • The fourth most common cancer was urinary bladder cancer for white men; cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx for black men; and stomach cancer for Asian/Pacific Islander men.  
  • Breast cancer is the leading cancer among women of all races in the United States;  
  • Among white women, lung cancer is the second most common cancer and colorectal is the third most common cancer. Among black and Asian/Pacific Islander women, colorectal cancer and lung cancer are the second and third most common cancers, respectively;
  • The fourth leading cancer among women of all races in the United States is cancer of the uterus, not including cervical cancer;
  • The most common childhood cancers are leukemias, followed by cancer of the central nervous system, and lymphomas and reticuloendothelial neoplasms (specific white blood cell cancers). 

Racial and ethnic differences in cancer incidence

  • Overall, cancer incidence rates are higher for whites and blacks than for Asians/Pacific Islanders;
  • Among the leading cancers, prostate cancer among black men is 1.5 times higher than among white men, and 2.7 times higher than among Asians/Pacific Islanders;
  • Breast cancer among white women is about 1.2 times higher than among black women, and 1.7 times higher than among Asians/Pacific Islanders. 

Geographic differences in cancer incidence**

  • The District of Columbia has the highest incidence rate of prostate cancer, and Arizona has the lowest; 
  • Washington state has the highest incidence of female breast cancer; New Mexico has the lowest;
  • Kentucky has the highest incidence rate of lung cancer for men, and Nevada has the highest rate for women. Utah has the lowest incidence rate of lung cancer for both men and women;
  • Rhode Island has the highest incidence rate of colorectal cancer among men, and Alaska has the highest incidence rate among women. New Mexico has the lowest incidence rate of colorectal cancer for both men and women. 

*The following points should be kept in mind when interpreting geographic incidence rates: 1.) States in which a high percentage of the population receive cancer screenings will have more diagnosed cancer cases than states in which a low percentage of the population is screened; and 2.) Relative rankings based on incidence rates do not reflect important factors such as mortality rates that contribute to cancer burden.

United States Cancer Statistics: 2000 Incidence provides a basis for individual states and researchers to describe the variability in cancer incidence rates across different populations and to target certain populations for evidence-based cancer control programs. Future United States Cancer Statistics reports will include data for other racial and ethnic populations.

Cancer rates usually have some uncertainty associated with them and are updated as more information becomes available from registries and as better estimates of state and regional populations become available from the U.S. Census Bureau. The process of recalculating cancer rates is a standard practice.

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REFERENCES:

Medically reviewed by Jay Zatzkin, MD; Board Certification in Internal Medicine and Oncology July 13, 2017

Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D., MedicineNet.com Editor

Frederick Hecht, M.D., MedicineNet.com Editor

CDC Press Release (www.cdc.gov)

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