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PHOM Indicator Profile Report of Cancer Deaths

Why Is This Important?

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. and in Utah. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the financial costs of cancer are substantial, with the overall annual direct medical costs for cancer estimated at $88.7 billion in 2011 in the U.S. Treatment for lung, prostate, and breast cancers accounts for more than half of the direct medical costs. Cancer generally develops over several years and has many causes. Several factors both inside and outside the body contribute to the development of cancer. Some of these factors include genetics, tobacco, diet, weight, physical inactivity, and excessive sunlight exposure. Other factors 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.

Cancer Death Rate, Utah and U.S., 1999-2017

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Data Sources

  • Utah Death Certificate Database, Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health
  • Population Estimates: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) through a collaborative agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau, IBIS Version 2017
  • U.S. Underlying Cause of Death Data: WONDER Online Database. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Accessed at []

Data Notes

ICD-10 codes C00-C97. Age-adjusted to the U.S. 2000 standard population.

Risk Factors

Increasing age is a risk factor for developing cancer. More than 87% of all cancers are diagnosed in persons aged 50 years or older. Other risk factors for cancer include a person's gender and family medical history. Cancer may also be linked to environmental exposures and lifestyle choices such as use of tobacco and alcohol, diet, and sun exposure. In fact, tobacco use remains the world's most preventable cause of death. Despite decades of declines in cigarette smoking prevalence, almost one-third (32%) of cancer deaths in the U.S. and as much as 40% in men in some Southern states are still caused by smoking.^1^[[br]] [[br]] ---- 1. American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts & Figures 2018, p.44.

How Are We Doing?

The Utah age-adjusted cancer mortality rate had been steadily decreasing, from a high of 162.7 deaths per 100,000 population in 1991 to 124.1 per 100,000 population in 2009. Rates have fluctuated up and down since 2009. In 2017, the age-adjusted cancer mortality rate in Utah was to 120.3 per 100,000 population. During the combined years of data from 2015 to 2017 significant differences in mortality rates existed between Utah Small Areas. The cancer mortality rate ranged from a high of 216.7 per 100,000 population in Magna to a low of 70.0 per 100,000 population in Nephi/Mona.

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. UCAN has five work groups and eight committees that have created and are now working on the strategies from the 2016-2020 state cancer plan.

Healthy People Objective: Reduce the overall cancer death rate

U.S. Target: 161.4 deaths per 100,000 population

Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 12/11/2018

Other Views

The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sat, 24 August 2019 16:08:22 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 20 Jun 2019 13:03:28 MDT