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California Environmental Health Tracking Program

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Last Edited: 10/1/2012

Cancer Data Query Results

This query system automatically generates a table, map, and chart using the criteria you have chosen. To see the data in your desired format, click on the corresponding tabs below. View the Info tab to learn about the data and how they can be used. View the Sources tab for information about the underlying data sources.

To modify your query, click on the yellow box to the right. Options for other ways to visualize the data are listed on the right side bar.

CANCER

What are cancer rates?

Cancer rates represent the number of people diagnosed with a new cancer in a certain year. For adults, the rates on this portal are expressed as new cancers per 100,000 people in California. For children, the rates are expressed as new cancers per 1,000,000 children in the state. All cancer rates are age-adjusted so that you can compare counties even if one county contains more older people or more younger people than another county.

The types of cancer included on this Portal are:

  • Breast Cancer- Breast cancer occurs occurs when a malignant tumor forms in the tissue of the breast. It is one of the most common types of cancer in women. Although men can get breast cancer too, it is more common among women. It is estimated that one in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in life. Most breast cancers happen in women over 55 years of age. Women should perform breast self-examination and receive regular mammograms to increase chances of early detection. There are many factors linked to breast cancer; among those that we can control are drinking alcohol, not getting exercise, being overweight or obese, and taking some forms of hormone replacement therapy.
  • Lung Cancer- Lung cancer forms in the tissues of the lung, and bronchus cancer forms in the tubes connecting the windpipe to the lung. Cancer in these areas are the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke is the most common cause of these cancers.
  • Bladder Cancer- Bladder cancer forms in the cells lining the urinary system. Bladder cancer is more common among older people, men, and whites (compared to blacks). Smoking and working around certain chemicals are the two biggest risk factors for bladder cancer.
  • Brain Cancer- Brain cancer occurs in the tissues of the brain and central nervous system. Cancers of the brain are more common among children under 15 and adults aged 65 years and older. Little is known about the causes of brain cancer and how to prevent it from occurring.
  • Thyroid Cancer- Thyroid cancer forms in the thyroid gland. Known risk factors for thyroid cancer include exposure to radiation, family history, being female, being between ages 45 and 65, abnormal iodine intake (both abnormally low and abnormally high levels), and hormonal factors.
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma- Non-hodgkin lymphoma refers to a large group of cancers that begin in the immune system. Risk factors for non-hodgkin lymphoma include a weakened immune system, exposure to radiation, certain infections, exposure to certain chemicals and drugs, and older age.
  • Leukemia- Leukemia includes a diverse group of cancers that begin in white blood cells. Although it is sometimes thought of as a children's disease, leukemia is more common in older adults than in children. There are several different types of leukemia. Each type leukemia starts in a particular type of white blood cell and grows at a different rate:
    • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) starts in the lymphoid cells of the bone marrow and can spread to other parts of the body. CLL usually grows slowly and is most common in older adults. Scientists know little about the risk factors for CLL.
    • Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) starts in the lymphoid cells and grows quickly. ALL is the most common type of leukemia in young children. While a few things, such as radiation exposure, exposure to certain chemicals, and certain inherited syndromes (such as Down syndrome) are risk factors for ALL, little is understood about the causes of this disease, especially in children.
    • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) starts in the myeloid cells of the bone marrow and grows quickly. AML occurs in both adults and children. Smoking is one of the few known risk factors for AML, and other risk factors are similar to those for ALL.
  • Mesothelioma- Mesothelioma is a rare cancer affecting the linings of internal organs, most often the lungs. It is most often caused by exposure to asbestos and takes many years after exposure to develop. As with many types of cancer, early detection can mean a better prognosis.
  • Melanoma- Melanoma is the rarest but most serious of skin cancers. Data reported here are for invasive melanoma of the skin only, although there are other types of melanoma and other parts of the body where melanoma can develop. Risk factors for developing melanoma include frequent and prolonged exposure to sun; or having fair skin, blue or green eyes, or blond or red hair; using tanning beds; or having a weakened immune system also put people at risk. Exposures to environmental pollutants such as arsenic or dioxins may also contribute to increased risk for melanoma.
  • Liver and Intrahepatic Bile Duct Cancers- Liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancers are seen most often in people who have hepatitis B or C infection (whether they have symptoms of hepatitis or not), chronically abuse alcohol, or have autoimmune diseases affecting the liver. Exposures to environmental pollutants such as solvents and persistent organic compounds may also contribute to increased risk for liver cancer.
  • Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancers- Kidney and renal pelvis cancers form in and around the kidneys. Risk factors include smoking, long-term use of certain pain medications, and some genetic factors. There is also concern that exposure to cadmium, arsenic, and disinfection byproducts in drinking water may increase risk for these cancers. This category of cancer also includes Wilms tumor, a rare kidney cancer affecting children under five.
  • Pharynx Cancer- Also called pharyngeal cancer, this cancer affects the area of the throat directly below the mouth and nose, but above the larynx. Major risk factors include tobacco use (either smoking or chewing), high levels of alcohol consumption, and human papilloma virus (HPV) infections in the mouth or throat.
  • Larynx Cancer- Also called laryngeal cancer, this is a cancer of the larynx, which is the part of the throat below the pharynx and above the esophagus. Tobacco use (either through smoking or chewing) raises one's risk for this type of cancer.
  • Esophageal Cancer- Esophageal cancer affects the esophagus, the muscular tube that leads from the larynx to the stomach. Major risk factors include tobacco use (either smoking or chewing), high levels of alcohol consumption, and human papilloma virus (HPV) infections in the mouth or throat.
  • Pancreatic Cancer- Pancreatic cancer affects the pancreas, a glandular organ that produces insulin, other hormones, and digestive juices. Also called exocrine cancer, pancreatic cancer is known to be associated with tobacco use (either smoking or chewing). There is also concern that exposure to specific chemicals (such as cadmium) may increase one's risk.
  • For more information, see the National Cancer Institute website.

What do these data tell us? How can I use these data?

  • These data can be used to compare rates of cancer by county.
  • These data identify which counties have the highest and lowest cancer rates.
  • These data identify which counties have cancer rates higher than the State.
  • This information can inform public health practitioners and health care service providers in program planning and in targeting interventions.

What do these data not tell us?

  • These data can not tell us what neighborhoods within the county are at highest risk for cancer.
  • These data can not tell us what causes cancer.

Data Sources & Limitations

The California Cancer Registry works with medical treatment facilities and scientists to receive reports of cancer while following strict patient privacy rules. All types of cancer are reported except basal and squamous skin cell cancer and cervical cancer.

It takes about three years for the data to be complete and checked for accuracy. Rates were calculated based on these numbers along with the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) bridged population estimates to give the number of people from each age group in each county.

Underreporting of Cancer by Veterans Administration (VA) Hospitals

Veteran's Health Administration (VHA) hospitals in California stopped reporting cancer cases to the California Cancer Registry beginning in 2005. Although there is no way to know how many unreported cancer cases were diagnosed in these facilities since that time, in the past VHA-reported cases made up about 4 percent of all new cancers in men, and a very small proportion of cancers in women. Therefore, the rates of cancers in men in these data since 2005 are likely slightly lower than the true rate, which would include cancers diagnosed in VHA hospitals.

* To see more-detailed county-specific data, click on the county name in the Table tab

* Request more cancer health information from CEHTP

Notes about the data

    [[indicatorHTML]]
  • Research has shown relationships between environmental factors and some types of cancer. For more information...
  • Data Source: California Cancer Registry, [[year]]. For more information...
  • The quantities shown are incidence rates—that is, the number of newly diagnosed cancer cases per population per year, adjusted for age. For more information...
  • The 95% Confidence Interval (CI) is the range of values that likely contains the true [[indicator]] in the population. For more information...
  • NA-The data are not available due to the number of events being less than 12.
  • [[modeledFootnote]]
 

Notes about the data

    [[indicatorHTML]]
  • Research has shown relationships between environmental factors and some types of cancer. For more information...
  • Data Source: California Cancer Registry, [[year]]. For more information...
  • The quantities shown are incidence rates—that is, the number of newly diagnosed cancer cases per population per year, adjusted for age. For more information...
  • The California statewide [[indicator]] is [[stateValue]].
  • If the county area is filled with a hatch pattern, the data are not available due to the number of events being less than 12.
  • [[modeledFootnote]]
 

Notes about the data

    [[indicatorHTML]]
  • Research has shown relationships between environmental factors and some types of cancer. For more information...
  • Data Source: California Cancer Registry, [[year]]. For more information...
  • The quantities shown are incidence rates—that is, the number of newly diagnosed cancer cases per population per year, adjusted for age. For more information...
  • The 95% Confidence Interval (CI) is the range of values that likely contains the true [[indicator]] in the population. For more information...
  • If the county is not listed, the data are not available due to the number of events being less than 12.
  • The 95% Confidence Interval (CI) is the range of values that likely contains the true [[indicator]] in the population. The CI is displayed as light green bars on the chart. Link to methods section
  • The California statewide [[indicator]] is [[stateValue]] and is displayed as the thin purple line running the entire distance of the chart.
  • [[modeledFootnote]]
 
  • Lung cancer forms in the tissues of the lung and bronchus cancer forms in the tube connecting the windpipe to the lung. Smoking is the most common cause of lung and bronchus cancer. For more information...
  • Breast cancer occurs when a malignant tumor forms in the tissue of the breast. Women are recommended to perform breast self-examination and receive regular mammograms to increase chances of early detection. For more information...
  • Bladder cancer forms in the cells lining the urinary system. Smoking and the work environment are the two biggest risk factors for bladder cancer. For more information...
  • Brain cancer occurs in the tissues of the brain and central nervous system. Little is known about the causes of brain cancer and how to prevent it from occurring. For more information...
  • Thyroid cancer occurs when the cancer begins in the thyroid gland. Known risk factors for thyroid cancer include iodine intake and hormonal factors. For more information...
  • Non-hodgkins lymphoma is cancer that begins in the lymphoid system and can spread to other organs. For more information...
  • Leukemia includes a diverse group of cancers that begin in blood cells. Leukemia is more common in adults than children. For more information...
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a type of cancer that starts in the white blood cells in the bone marrow and can spread to other parts of the body. Little is known about the risk factors for CLL. For more information...
  • Acute myeloid leukemia is a cancer that starts in the bone marrow, but often spreads to the blood. Smoking is one of the few known risk factors for AML. For more information...
  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) starts in the lymphoid cells and grows quickly. ALL is the most common type of leukemia in young children. While a few things, such as radiation exposure, exposure to certain chemicals, and certain inherited syndromes (such as Down syndrome) are risk factors for ALL, little is understood about the causes of this disease, especially in children. For more information...
  • Mesothelioma is a rare cancer affecting the linings of internal organs, most often the lungs. It is most often caused by exposure to asbestos and takes many years after exposure to develop. As with many types of cancer, early detection can mean a better prognosis. For more information...
  • Melanoma is the rarest but most serious of skin cancers. Data reported here are for invasive melanoma of the skin only, although there are other types of melanoma and other parts of the body where melanoma can develop. Risk factors for developing melanoma include frequent and prolonged exposure to sun; or having fair skin, blue or green eyes, or blond or red hair; using tanning beds; or having a weakened immune system also put people at risk. For more information...
  • Liver and Intrahepatic Bile Duct Cancers are seen most often in people who have hepatitis B or C infection (whether they have symptoms of hepatitis or not), chronically abuse alcohol, or have autoimmune diseases affecting the liver. For more information...
  • Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancers form in and around the kidneys. Risk factors include smoking, long-term use of certain pain medications, and some genetic factors. This category of cancer also includes Wilms tumor, a rare kidney cancer affecting children under five. For more information...
  • Larynx Cancers - also called laryngeal cancer, this is a cancer of any part of the throat below the pharynx and above the esophagus. For more information...
  • Pharynx Cancers - also called pharyngeal cancer, this cancer affects the area of the throat directly below the mouth and nose, but above the larynx. For more information...
  • Esophageal Cancers - esophageal cancer affects the esophagus, the muscular tube that leads from the larynx to the stomach. For more information...
  • Pancreatic Cancers - also called exocrine cancer, this is a malignancy in the pancreas, the gland organ below the stomach that produces insulin and other hormones as well as digestive juices. For more information...
  • Modeled rates are estimated for a location by taking into account the frequency of events in that location and in its surrounding areas. Modeled rates can be useful when there aren't enough events in an area to calculate rates in the conventional manner. Modeled rates can also be useful for examining regional trends. For more information...
  •