Cancer Rates Decline in Pennsylvania, Remain Steady in Jefferson County

JEFFERSON CO., Pa. (EYT) – Data from the State Cancer Profiles website shows that while cancer incidence rates have declined slightly both nationally and in the state of Pennsylvania, there was no significant change in cancer rates in Jefferson County.

The State Cancer Profiles website uses cancer incidence data provided by the National Program of Cancer Registries Cancer Surveillance System (NPCR-CSS); the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program.

The site uses five years of compiled data, current data from 2010-2014, to calculate age-adjusted incidence rates per 100,000 people.

The national incidence rate for the most recent available five year period, 2010-2014, declined slightly from the previous five year period, as did Pennsylvania’s incidence rate, while Jefferson County’s incidence rate remained steady. Other surrounding counties, including Armstrong, Clarion, Forest, Elk, and Indiana, all retained steady incidence rates, as well. The only local county that saw any significant decline in overall incidence rates Clearfield County.

In terms of Pennsylvania counties, Jefferson ranks toward the middle in terms of incidence rates. Jefferson County’s incidence rate was 489.4/100,000. The county with the highest incidence rate was Sullivan County with a stable incidence rate of 535.6/100,000. Forest County came in as the county with the lowest incidence rate, also stable, of 397.5/100,000.

In the detailed information breaking down incidence rates by specific types of cancer, Jefferson County retained stable incidence rates in every type of cancer reported, including breast cancer, leukemia, lung cancer, melanoma, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer.

On a statewide level, Pennsylvania saw an increase statewide in the incidence rates for breast cancer and melanoma and a decrease in incidence rates for lung cancer and prostate cancer, while the incidence rates for pancreatic cancer, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and leukemia all remained stable.

Though Pennsylvania saw a decline in overall cancer incidence rates in the most recent data, it still ranks as the state with the third highest overall incidence rate. Pennsylvania’s overall rate was 484.5/100,000, which was topped only by Delaware, with a rate of 495.3/100,000, and Kentucky, with a rate of 510.8/100,000. In contrast, New Mexico has the lowest overall incidence rate of 350.3/100,000.

On a national level, not only are overall cancer incidence rates in decline, the mortality rate due to cancer is in decline as well.

According to a January 2018 press release from The American Cancer Society, “The cancer death rate dropped 1.7% from 2014 to 2015, continuing a drop that began in 1991 and has reached 26%, resulting in nearly 2.4 million fewer cancer deaths during that time.”

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