DefinitionThe rate of death from cancer of the breast (ICD-10 C50) per 100,000 women.
NumeratorThe number of deaths due to breast cancer among women for a given time period (ICD-10 C50).
DenominatorThe female population of Utah or U.S. for a given time period.
Why Is This Important?Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in U.S. women (excluding basal and squamous cell skin cancers) and a leading cause of female cancer deaths in both Utah and the U.S. Nationally, deaths from lung cancer surpass deaths from breast cancer; however, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Utah women. Deaths from breast cancer can be substantially reduced if the tumor is discovered at an early stage. Mammography is currently the best method for detecting cancer early. Clinical trials and observational studies have demonstrated that routine screening with mammography can reduce breast cancer mortality by about 20% for women of average risk.^1^
We do not yet know exactly what causes breast cancer, but we do know that certain risk factors are linked to the disease. Some of these risk factors include age, socioeconomic status, exposure to ionizing radiation, family history, alcohol, and hormonal influence. Some studies indicate that environmental contaminants such as benzene and organic solvents can cause mammary tumors, but clear links have not been established.[[br]]
''1. Myers ER, Moorman P, Gierisch JM, et al. Benefits and harms of breast cancer screening. JAMA. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.13183.''
Healthy People Objective C-3:Reduce the female breast cancer death rate
U.S. Target: 20.7 deaths per 100,000 females
Other ObjectivesCSTE Chronic Disease Indicators
How Are We Doing?U.S. breast cancer mortality rates decreased significantly from 26.6 deaths per 100,000 females in 1999 to 19.9 deaths per 100,000 females in 2017.
Breast cancer mortality rates in Utah increased significantly with age. For combined years 2013-2017 there were 229.3 deaths due to breast cancer per 100,000 women aged 85 years or older. This is in comparison to 39.3 deaths per 100,000 women aged 55-64, 58.4 deaths per 100,000 women aged 65-74, and 107.0 deaths per 100,000 women aged 75-84.
From 2013 to 2017, Southeast Health District had the highest breast cancer mortality rate of 24.5 deaths per 100,000 women. TriCounty Health District had the lowest rate with 15.8 per 100,000 women.
For Utah Small Areas, breast cancer mortality rates ranged from a high of 45.4 per 100,000 females in Grand County to a low of 7.2* in Weber County (East) for the same time period.
For combined years 2013-2017, Hispanic women had a significantly lower age-adjusted breast cancer mortality rate (11.7 per 100,000 women) than non-Hispanic women (20.3).
When looking at breast cancer mortality rates by race, Asian women had a significantly lower rate (9.0 deaths per 100,000 women) than all races combined (19.8) for years 2013-2017. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander women had a significantly higher rate (37.4 deaths per 100,000 women) than all races combined.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?On average, Utah has consistently had a lower age-adjusted breast cancer mortality rate than the U.S. However, in 2006 Utah experienced a higher breast cancer mortality rate than the U.S. (25.7 per 100,000 Utah females died from breast cancer compared with 23.6 U.S. females). This was not a statistically significant difference.
In 2017, the U.S. breast cancer mortality rate was 19.9 per 100,000 females compared with the Utah rate of 20.1 per 100,000 females; this is not a statistically significant difference.
What Is Being Done?The Utah Cancer Control Program (UCCP) in the Utah Department of Health distributes free mammography vouchers to women who receive a clinical breast exam at a UCCP sponsored clinic and meet age and income guidelines. Eligible women with abnormal screening exams are offered diagnostic evaluation by participating providers. As of July 1, 2001, the UCCP is able to refer Utah women in need of treatment for breast and cervical cancers for full Medicaid benefits.
In addition, 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, testicular, prostate, skin, breast, and colorectal cancers as well as the promotion of physical activity, healthy eating habits, and smoking cessation.
Health Program InformationIn 1976, the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) received a cervical cancer grant from the National Cancer Institute. In 1980, the UDOH 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 conduct breast and cervical cancer screening in Utah. A comprehensive grant was awarded to the program in 1994 to continue breast and cervical cancer screening. Since 1994, 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 for breast and cervical cancer screening. Additionally, the UCCP receives funding to implement comprehensive cancer control strategies that were identified by the Utah Cancer Action Network (UCAN) statewide partnership.