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Cancer - Women
Cancer - Women in United States
United States

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United States Value:

2.2%

Percentage of women ages 18-44 who reported being told by a health professional that they had any type of cancer (excluding skin cancer)

Cancer - Women in depth:

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Cancer - Women by State

Percentage of women ages 18-44 who reported being told by a health professional that they had any type of cancer (excluding skin cancer)




Cancer - Women Trends

Percentage of women ages 18-44 who reported being told by a health professional that they had any type of cancer (excluding skin cancer)

Trend: Cancer - Women in United States, 2023 Health Of Women And Children Report

Percentage of women ages 18-44 who reported being told by a health professional that they had any type of cancer (excluding skin cancer)

United States
Source:

 CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

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Cancer - Women

Trend: Cancer - Women in United States, 2023 Health Of Women And Children Report

Percentage of women ages 18-44 who reported being told by a health professional that they had any type of cancer (excluding skin cancer)

United States
Source:

 CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System






About Cancer - Women

US Value: 2.2%

Top State(s): Hawaii: 1.4%

Bottom State(s): Arkansas: 4.2%

Definition: Percentage of women ages 18-44 who reported being told by a health professional that they had any type of cancer (excluding skin cancer)

Data Source and Years: CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2020-2021

Suggested Citation: America's Health Rankings analysis of CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United Health Foundation, AmericasHealthRankings.org, accessed 2023.

Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the United States. The most common cancer among women is breast cancer, accounting for 31% of new cases. The deadliest cancer among women is lung cancer, which accounts for 21% of cancer deaths among women. The biggest risk factor for cancer is advancing age. Other cancer risks include tobacco use, environmental carcinogens, genetic factors and viral and bacterial infections

In 2020, the national cost of cancer care was projected to be $208.9 billion. Assuming the number of new diagnoses and the rate of survival remain constant, those costs are expected to increase 34% by 2030.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant disruption to health services, including cancer screening and preventive care visits. The American Cancer Society’s 2023 statistical report notes that their cancer diagnosis and death estimates do not account for the impact of COVID-19, the full consequences of which will only be revealed in the years to come.

According to America’s Health Rankings data, the prevalence of cancer is higher among: 

  • Women ages 35-44 compared with those ages 18-24.
  • Women with less than a college degree compared with college graduates.
  • Women with an annual household income less than $25,000 compared with those with an income of $50,000 or more.
  • American Indian/Alaska Native, multiracial and white women compared with Black and Asian women.

A 2022 study identified a rising trend in aggressive uterine and breast cancer diagnoses, disproportionately affecting Black women. The report highlights that while Black women and white women have similar incidence rates of uterine cancer, death rates are twice as high for Black women. Black women also experience higher rates of aggressive breast cancer subtypes, such as estrogen-receptor–negative or triple-negative, than the general population.

While there is no universal cure, there are ways for providers and individuals to reduce the risk of certain cancers. Some evidence-based approaches include: 

  • Lifestyle changes: Quitting smoking at any age will lower the risk of developing cancer. Smoking is responsible for approximately 19% of cancers. Engaging in more physical activity and reducing alcohol consumption are also associated with lower risk of certain cancers.
  • Vaccination: Incidence of cervical and other cancers can be reduced through vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV). Additionally, the hepatitis B vaccine can help reduce the risk of liver cancer.
  • Screening: Many cancers are treatable when detected early through screening. Routine screening for breast, cervical and colon cancers can improve outcomes by detecting cancer in earlier stages. The significant reduction in breast cancer death rates in the last 30 years has been attributed to both early screening and advances in treatment. Cervical cancer incidence rates, too, have nearly halved since the 1970s, largely due to Pap smear screening.

Information on specific screening, counseling and prevention recommendations for cancer are available from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Healthy People 2030 has multiple objectives related to cancer, including:

  • Reducing the overall cancer death rate.
  • Reducing the death rate from breast cancer.
  • Reducing the colorectal cancer death rate.

American Cancer Society. 2023. “Cancer Facts & Figures 2023.” American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2023/2023-cancer-facts-and-figures.pdf.

Cronin, Kathleen A., Susan Scott, Albert U. Firth, Hyuna Sung, S. Jane Henley, Recinda L. Sherman, Rebecca L. Siegel, et al. 2022. “Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, Part 1: National Cancer Statistics.” Cancer 128 (24): 4251–84. https://doi.org/10.1002/cncr.34479.

Mariotto, Angela B., Lindsey Enewold, Jingxuan Zhao, Christopher A. Zeruto, and K. Robin Yabroff. 2020. “Medical Care Costs Associated with Cancer Survivorship in the United States.” Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 29 (7): 1304–12. https://doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-1534.

National Cancer Institute. 2023. “Financial Burden of Cancer Care | Cancer Trends Progress Report.” https://progressreport.cancer.gov/after/economic_burden#field_additional_information.

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America’s Health Rankings builds on the work of the United Health Foundation to draw attention to public health and better understand the health of various populations. Our platform provides relevant information that policymakers, public health officials, advocates and leaders can use to effect change in their communities.

We have developed detailed analyses on the health of key populations in the country, including women and children, seniors and those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, in addition to a deep dive into health disparities across the country.