DefinitionThe rate of death from all cancers per 100,000 persons.
NumeratorNumber of deaths due to cancer (ICD-10 codes C00-C97).
DenominatorPopulation of Utah or U.S. for a given time period.
Why Is This Important?Cancer is the second leading cause of death in both the U.S. and in Utah. A cancer diagnosis places a significant burden on the social, emotional, financial, and mental wellbeing of patients. The financial costs of cancer are substantial both for patients and health care systems on the whole. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in 2011, the annual direct medical costs for cancer in the U.S. were estimated to be at $88.7 billion. Treatments for lung, prostate, and breast cancers account for more than half of these direct medical costs.
Cancer comes in many different forms. Cancers generally develop over several years and can have many causes. Several factors both inside and outside the body may contribute to the development of cancer. Some of these factors include genetic mutations, tobacco and alcohol use, poor diet, obesity, physical inactivity, and excessive sunlight exposure. Other factors may include exposure to ionizing radiation and environmental chemicals that may be present in the workplace, food, air, or water such as asbestos, benzene, and arsenic.
Healthy People Objective C-1:Reduce the overall cancer death rate
U.S. Target: 161.4 deaths per 100,000 population
Other ObjectivesUtah's 42 Community Health Indicators[[br]]
CSTE Chronic Disease Indicators
How Are We Doing?The age-adjusted cancer mortality rate in Utah has generally decreased over the last 30 years. In 2018, the age-adjusted cancer mortality rate in Utah was 119.9 deaths per 100,000 people, down from a rate of 131.9 deaths per 100,000 people in 2010.
There are differences in cancer mortality rates throughout Utah based on geography, race, ethnicity, age, and sex. The Tooele County Local Health District (LHD) had the highest cancer mortality rate (154.9 deaths per 100,000 persons) in the state compared to other LHDs, while the San Juan LHD had the lowest (105.8 deaths per 100,000 persons). Differences in cancer mortality rates can also be seen within each LHD at the Utah Small Area level (see Small Area Data View).
Non-Hispanic persons have a higher rate of cancer mortality (119.2 deaths per 100,000 persons) than Hispanic persons (96.9 deaths per 100,000 persons), based on age-adjusted data from 2016-2018. Those who racially identify as Black and Pacific Islander have the highest rates of cancer mortality (147.3 deaths per 100,000 persons and 151.5 deaths per 100,000 persons, respectively; note that only the rate for Pacific Islanders is statistically significant) when compared to all other races, while those who identify as Asian or American Indian/Alaskan Native have a significantly lower rate of cancer mortality (78.8 deaths per 100,000 persons and 77.2 deaths per 100,000 persons, respectively; statistically significant) compared to all other races.
The rate of cancer death increases with age, regardless of sex. For ages 0-54, women are more likely to die as a result of cancer than men, though after age 55, men are more likely to die as a result of cancer than women.
See additional data views for more detailed information.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?The age-adjusted overall cancer mortality rate in Utah has been consistently lower than the U.S. rate for the last 30 years. The latest comparative data reports from 2017 indicate that the Utah cancer death rate was 120.8 deaths per 100,000 persons compared to the U.S. rate of 152.5 deaths per 100,000 persons.
What Is Being Done?The Utah Department of Health initiated the Utah Cancer Action Network (UCAN), a statewide partnership whose goal is to reduce the burden of cancer. The mission of the UCAN is to lower cancer incidence and mortality in Utah through collaborative efforts directed toward cancer prevention and control. As a result of this planning process, objectives and strategies have been developed by community partners regarding the early detection of cervical, lung, prostate, skin, breast, ovarian, and colorectal cancers as well as the promotion of physical activity, healthy eating habits, and smoking cessation. The UCAN has five work groups and eight committees that have been created and are now working on the strategies from the 2016-2020 state cancer plan.
Health Program InformationIn 1976, the Utah Department of Health received a cervical cancer grant from the National Cancer Institute. In 1980, the Utah Department of Health began providing clinical breast exams and Pap tests on a sliding fee scale. In 1993, state funding was appropriated for mammography. That same year, the Utah Cancer Control Program (UCCP) first received a capacity building grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to lay the groundwork for breast and cervical cancer screening in Utah. A five year comprehensive grant was awarded to the program in 1994 to continue breast and cervical cancer screening. In October 1999, this grant was renewed for an additional five years. The UCCP continues to receive funding from the CDC for breast and cervical cancer screenings. With this funding, the UCCP and partners, including local health departments, mammography facilities, pathology laboratories, and private providers, have worked together to ensure the appropriate and timely provision of clinical services.
The UCCP continues to receive funding from the CDC to implement comprehensive cancer control strategies that were identified by Utah Cancer Action Network statewide partnership.
Starting in 2014, the UCCP also received funding from the CDC to implement cancer genomics strategies focused on hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (associated with BRCA1/2 mutations) and Lynch syndrome cancers, specifically colorectal and uterine.