Cancer Mortality Data Trends for 2000-2010 DS 12-12000
From 2000 to 2010, cancer (malignant neoplasms) has been the second leading cause of death in California and the United States, only to be exceeded by heart disease.1,2 In California, lung, colon, breast, pancreas, and prostate cancers accounted for more than 50 percent of cancer deaths.
There are more than 100 different types of cancers.3 All cancers begin as out-of-control abnormal cell growths, which left untreated may result in serious illness and/or death.4 Half of all men and one-third of all women in the United States will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime.4 Cancer can be diagnosed at any age, but those who are 65 and older account for over 70 percent of cancer deaths.5
Cancer can be caused by both external factors (tobacco, chemicals, radiation, and infectious organisms) and internal factors (inherited mutations, hormones, immune conditions, and mutations that occur from metabolism).4 Scientific evidence suggests that many types of cancer can be prevented by not using tobacco and alcohol products, being physically active, eating a healthy diet, maintaining an ideal body weight, and limiting exposure in the sun. Furthermore, regular screening examinations can result in the prevention of certain cancers through the early discovery and removal of precancerous lesions. Available treatments for cancer include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, biological therapy, and targeted therapy.4
Cancer prevention and early detection are vital to reduce suffering of patients and family members, deaths, and financial costs related to cancer.6 In 2010, the overall estimated cost of cancer was $263.8 billion, which represented $102.8 billion for direct medical health expenditures, $140.1 billion in lost productivity due to premature death, and $20.9 billion in lost productivity due to illness.4
Due to the prevalence of cancer deaths in this country, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has established a number of Healthy People 2020 objectives that pertain to specific cancer types. HHS has established Healthy People 2020 Objective C-1, to reduce the overall cancer age-adjusted death rate of no more than 160.6 per 100,000 population.7 The definition of cancer used for the Healthy People Objective C-1 and the report’s content was based on the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes C00-C97.
This report examines cancer mortality trends for California’s resident population from 2000 through 2010 and presented data in five major sections. The first section discusses cancer mortality for the total California resident population. The second section analyzes male and female populations separately. The third section describes differences in cancer mortality by race/ethnicity groups. The fourth section discusses sex differences within race/ethnicity groups. The final section reviews trends in cancer mortality by county of residence and includes trend charts for each county. Combined with information on cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment, the information is useful for program planning and policy development to reduce the burden of cancer.