This Illinois City Has Been Named the Highest Cancer Rates in the State
Cancer is a big problem for public health in the US; every year, it affects millions of people. The National Cancer Institute says that there were about 1.9 million new cases of cancer and 608,570 deaths linked to cancer in 2020. There are, however, differences in the rates of cancer in different places. These differences are caused by things like genetics, lifestyle choices, environmental exposure, and access to health care.
Cancer Statistics in Illinois
With about 12.7 million people living there in 2020, Illinois is one of the states with the most people. Unfortunately, it also has a higher rate of cancer than the rest of the country. The Illinois State Cancer Registry and the Illinois Department of Public Health say that 26,250 people died from cancer in 2020. There were 77,660 new cases of cancer.
The age-adjusted cancer rate for every 100,000 people was 459.7 per 100,000, which was higher than the national rate of 442.3 per 100,000. The death rate from all cancers, taking into account age, was 156.6 per 100,000, which was higher than the national rate of 149.5 per 100,000.
In 2020, breast cancer (14,240 cases), lung and bronchus cancer (12,910 cases), prostate cancer (10,720 cases), colon and rectum cancer (8,210 cases), and bladder cancer (4,140 cases) were the most common types of cancer in Illinois. In Illinois that year, lung and bronchus cancer claimed the lives of 9,300 people, colon and rectum cancer claimed 2,820 lives, pancreas cancer claimed 2,280 lives, breast cancer claimed 2,050 lives, and liver and bile duct cancer claimed 1,720 lives.
Cook County has the highest rate of cancer in Illinois
With about 5.1 million people living there in 2020, Cook County will have the most people of any county in Illinois. It also has the highest cancer rate in the state. The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Cancer Registry say that 15,040 people died from cancer in Cook County in 2020. There were 30,610 new cases of cancer.
The age-adjusted cancer rate for every 100,000 people was 494.6, which was much higher than the state rate of 459.7 per 100,000. The death rate from all cancers, adjusted for age, was 162.8 per 100,000 people, which was much higher than the state rate of 156.6 per 100,000.
Breast (5,560 cases), lung and bronchus (5,020 cases), prostate (4,020 cases), colon and rectum (3,200 cases), and bladder (1,620 cases) were the cancers that were found most often in Cook County in 2020. The organs that killed the most people in Cook County that year were the lung and bronchus (3,640), the colon and rectum (980), the pancreas (880), the breast (800), and the liver and bile duct (680).
Why is the cancer rate so high in Cook County?
Cook County may have higher cancer rates than other areas in Illinois and the country for a number of reasons, such as:
- Environment: Chicago, which is in Cook County, is known for its industrial past and urban growth, which may pollute the environment and expose people to carcinogens such as asbestos, radon, lead, benzene, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. A lot of people also live near big highways or airports, which makes them more vulnerable to air and noise pollution from cars and trucks.
- Lifestyle factors: Due to lifestyle choices, a lot of adults (16.4%) and teens (10.9%) in Cook County smoke. This makes you much more likely to get lung cancer and other types of cancer. Also, a lot of people in Cook County are overweight (29.9%), not active enough (23.9%), or drink too much alcohol (19.4%), all of which are linked to higher risks of getting different types of cancer.
- Socioeconomic factors: Poverty and income imbalance are common in Cook County, which makes it harder for people to get health care and preventative services like cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment. Different racial and ethnic groups in the county may also cause genetic susceptibility, cultural beliefs, and health habits that are not the same.
- Healthcare factors: A lot of people in Cook County don’t have health insurance or don’t have enough coverage, which makes it hard for them to get good healthcare and cancer treatment. Also, there aren’t enough general care doctors and oncologists, which makes it harder to prevent and treat cancer.
The rate of cancer in Cook County is higher than the rate in the state and the rate across the country. These differences are caused by a mix of environmental, lifestyle, socioeconomic, and healthcare factors that affect people’s chance of getting cancer and their outcomes. Getting these things fixed by working together with people, neighborhood groups, healthcare providers, government agencies, and researchers is important for lowering the number of cancer cases in Cook County. Using proven methods for stopping cancer, finding it early, and treating it could make the health of people in Cook County better and lower the total cancer burden in the state.