Last updated: Jul 30, 2008

Does living in Massachusetts increase your risk of getting breast cancer? Would moving to Louisiana or the District of Columbia be a deadly proposition? Just glancing at the Centers for Disease Control's data on state-by-state rates of diagnosis and death from breast cancer might cause you to think so. But even if your state ranks high on either list, that doesn't necessarily mean that you as an individual have anything more to worry about.



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Factors such as general access to screening facilities and the overall quality of health care can have a powerful influence on a states incidence and death rates. And other risk factors—such as late childbearing or choosing not to breastfeed—tend to be unequally distributed across the United States. Above all, it's important to remember that these collective measures may—or may not—have any impact on your own situation. When looking at your own risk, consider individual factors first: your age, family history, and aspects of your lifestyle that you can control. And be vigilant about screening, because regular mammograms, clinical exams, and self-examinations can catch tumors early and dramatically improve your prognosis, regardless of where you live.


Female Breast Cancer Incidence Rates,* by State, 2004†
The darker shading in the map below represents a higher incidence of breast cancer (per 100,000 women) in that state in 2004.
breast-cancer-rates
(CDC.GOV)

Female Breast Cancer Death Rates,* by State, 2004†
The darker shading in the map below represents higher breast cancer death rates (per 100,000 women) in that state in 2004.
breast-cancer-death-rates
(CDC.GOV)

Age-Adjusted Invasive Breast Cancer Incidence and Death Rates by State for 2004
State Female Breast Cancer Incidence Rate for 2004* Female Breast Cancer Death Rate for 2004*
Alabama 109.1 24.1
Alaska 113.1 18.7
Arizona 102.9 21.9
Arkansas 106.1 24.9
California 117.9 23.2
Colorado 118.1 22.8
Connecticut 129.9 24.7
Delaware 115.7 26.2
District of Columbia 129.4 27.6
Florida 109.2 23.5
Georgia 121.5 26.0
Hawaii 119.9 15.6
Idaho 105.1 21.9
Illinois 117.9 25.4
Indiana 108.1 24.0
Iowa 119.5 22.2
Kansas 119.1 22.4
Kentucky 116.5 24.3
Louisiana 120.0 27.6
Maine 123.0 21.2
Maryland Area did not meet USCS data quality criteria 26.9
Massachusetts 134.0 24.1
Michigan 119.0 24.3
Minnesota 123.7 22.4
Mississippi 108.5 27.3
Missouri 117.5 25.5
Montana 111.5 24.3
Nebraska 123.7 23.4
Nevada 106.4 25.8
New Hampshire 127.9 23.5
New Jersey 129.5 25.9
New Mexico 108.2 23.5
New York 122.8 24.3
North Carolina 115.8 25.6
North Dakota 121.2 21.7
Ohio 118.9 27.0
Oklahoma 125.0 22.5
Oregon 131.5 24.1
Pennsylvania 123.1 27.3
Rhode Island 130.1 21.6
South Carolina 112.5 23.1
South Dakota 109.4 22.0
Tennessee 109.3 25.7
Texas 109.5 23.2
Utah 113.7 22.7
Vermont 127.6 24.2
Virginia 121.1 25.4
Washington 130.7 23.3
West Virginia 114.2 24.7
Wisconsin 114.9 23.4
Wyoming 113.3 24.5
*Rates are per 100,000 and are age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population.
†Source: U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 2004 Incidence and Mortality. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2007.