Summary of Cancer Data 1988-1996
This report presents a statistical summary of the rates and trends of newly-diagnosed
cancers among Minnesota residents for the years 1988 through 1996, with special emphasis
on the most recent five years (1992-1996). These data come from the Minnesota Cancer
Surveillance System within the Minnesota Department of Health. For completeness, this
report also provides summary information on the rates of cancer deaths (mortality) during
the same time period. Death certificate data come from the Minnesota Center for Health
Statistics. Highlights of this report are described below.
- This report is the first one to contain information on stage at diagnosis, which is a
measure of how advanced the cancer was by the time it was first diagnosed.
- During the five-year period 1992-1996, 99,877 new cancers were
diagnosed in Minnesota residents. On average, 10,561 new cancers were diagnosed in males
and 9,415 new cancers were diagnosed in females each year. During the same period, an
average of 4,446 and 4,155 cancer deaths occurred among males and
females, respectively, each year.
- For males, the average annual rate of new cancers was 464 per 100,000 persons. For
females, the annual rate was 335 per 100,000 persons. Cancer rates were higher in males
than females for all but a few types of cancer. When the same time periods were compared,
overall cancer rates in Minnesota were slightly lower than rates reported by the National
Cancer Institute for other areas of the United States. Caution is required when comparing
cancer rates due to differences in the time period for which data are available,
differences in racial composition in different areas of the United States, and other
factors. Cancer Incidence 1992 - 1996
- There are well over 100 different types of cancer; however, relatively few types of
cancer account for the majority of cancer incidence (Figures S.1
and S.2). Among men, the most common cancer was prostate cancer,
which represented one-third (33.5 percent) of new cancers. The annual number of prostate
cancers (3,536) exceeded the number of lung, colon, and rectum cancers combined (2,600).
Cancers of the prostate, lung, colon and rectum combined accounted for 58.1 percent of all
new cancers in Minnesota males. In women, breast cancer was the most common type of
cancer, accounting for approximately one-third (32.3 percent) of new cancer cases. The
annual number of breast cancers (3,043) exceeded the number of lung, colon, and rectum
cancers combined (2,149). Cancers of the breast, lung, colon and rectum accounted for 55.1
percent of all new cancers in women, while cancers of the uterus and ovary accounted for
another 8.8 percent.
- A very different distribution of cancers occurs among children under 15 years of age. Of
the 803 childhood cancers (including benign tumors of the central nervous system)
diagnosed during 1992-1996, 28 percent were leukemias. Acute lymphocytic leukemia was the
single most common type of childhood cancer, comprising 23 percent of the total. Tumors of
the brain and nervous system were the second most common group, accounting for about 25
percent of the total. Leukemias, tumors of the brain and nervous system, together with
lymphomas and neuroblastomas accounted for 71.2 percent of childhood neoplasms.
Approximately one in 435 children will be diagnosed with a malignancy by the age of
15. Childhood Cancer in Minnesota 1992- 1996
- Cancer rates vary enormously by age. Rates are lowest
in later childhood and adolescence, then continue to rise sharply throughout the
succeeding decades. The median age at diagnosis for all cancers combined was 69 years in
males and 67 in females. The median age at diagnosis
varies by type of cancer, ranging from 31 years for cancer of the bones and joints in
males to 76 years for cancer of the stomach in females.
- Using current cancer rates and life expectancy, the average lifetime risk of developing cancer or dying from cancer
can be estimated. Just as with estimates of life expectancy, these estimates do not apply
to any specific individual. It is estimated that there would be 518 cancers during the
lifetimes of 1,000 Minnesota males born today, and 447 cancers during the lifetimes of
1,000 Minnesota females born today. The risk of dying from cancer is substantially lower
than being diagnosed with a cancer. It is estimated that 245 out of every 1,000 males will
die of cancer, while 215 out of every 1,000 females will die of cancer.
Nine years of MCSS data (1988-1996) are now available for examining time
trends in cancer incidence. The most noticeable change in incidence was observed in
prostate cancer, which increased dramatically between 1988 and 1992, and has been
decreasing since. The introduction and use of the prostatic specific antigen screening
test has been the major influence in the changing rates of detection for prostate cancer.
Colorectal cancer incidence decreased by 2 percent per year over the nine-year period,
resulting in a 16.5 percent total decrease. Cancers strongly related to smoking have
declined in males but increased in females. Although breast cancer incidence has been
fairly stable, the death rate for breast cancer in Minnesota women began to fall in 1992,
resulting in an average decline of 2 percent per year. Incidence increased for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in both sexes, and incidence of
skin melanomas increased in males. Overall cancer mortality fell in males approximately
0.6 percent per year .
- Detailed summaries of the descriptive
epidemiology and risk factors for 25 types of cancer are
availiable at the University of Minnesota's
Cancer Center's Web Site.
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Relative Frequencies of New Cancers Diagnosed Among Minnesota Males 1992-1996
Relative Frequencies of New Cancers Diagnosed Among Minnesota Females 1992-1996