Top 10 Cancers Among Women
Screening tests and the HPV vaccine can help prevent some of the most common types of cancer in women.
The 10 most commonly diagnosed cancers among women in the United States in 2007 (the most recent year for which statistics are available) included cancers of the breast, lung, colon and rectum, uterus, and thyroid; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; melanomas of the skin; and cancers of the ovary, kidney, and pancreas.
Breast cancer is by far the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. In the U.S. in 2007, 202,964 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 40,598 died from the disease. In 2007, 121.0 out of 100,000 white women were diagnosed with breast cancer, followed by 117.0 black women, 88.2 Hispanic† women, 83.4 Asian/Pacific Islander women, and 67.3 American Indian/Alaska Native women.
Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, before it can be felt, and is easier to treat.
More women die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. In the U.S. in 2007, 93,893 women were diagnosed with lung cancer, and 70,354 women died from the disease. In 2007, 55.9 out of 100,000 white women were diagnosed with lung cancer, followed by 50.3 black women, 35.8 American Indian/Alaska Native women, 26.9 Asian/Pacific Islander women, and 26.0 Hispanic† women.
The most important thing you can do to prevent lung cancer is to not start smoking, or to quit if you currently smoke. For information and resources to help you quit, visit www.smokefree.gov.
Colorectal (Colon) Cancer
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in women. It affects both men and women of all racial and ethnic groups, and is most often found in people aged 50 years or older. In the U.S. in 2007, 69,917 women were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and 26,215 women died from the disease. In 2007, 47.1 out of 100,000 black women were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, followed by 38.5 white women, 32.6 Hispanic† women, 31.1 Asian/Pacific Islander women, and 28.8 American Indian/Alaska Native women.
Deaths from colorectal cancer could be cut by as much as 60% if all people aged 50 years or older received regular screening tests. Speak with your doctor about colorectal cancer screening.
Gynecologic cancers start in a woman's cervix, ovaries, uterus, vagina, vulva, or rarely, fallopian tubes. In the U.S. in 2007, 80,976 women were diagnosed with gynecologic cancers, and 27,739 women died from the disease. In 2007, 48.4 out of 100,000 white women were diagnosed with gynecologic cancers, followed by 44.6 black women, 43.6 Hispanic† women, 34.7 Asian/Pacific Islander women, and 32.1 American Indian/Alaska Native women.
Pap tests can find abnormal cells that may turn into cervical cancer, and can find cervical cancer early, when the chance of being cured is very high. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which is available for girls and women who are 9 to 26 years old, protects against the types of HPV that most often cause cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers.
U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2007 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2010. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/uscs.
† Hispanic origin is not mutually exclusive from other categories.
- National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program
- Colorectal Cancer Control Program
- Breast Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Colorectal Cancer
- Gynecologic Cancers
- Cancer Among Women
- National Program of Cancer Registries
- Kick the Habit [PODCAST - 3:56 minutes] (2008)
- Women: Be Aware [PODCAST - 3:27 minutes] (2008)
- Don't Pass on This Test [PODCAST - 4:29 minutes] (2008)
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