A new report from the CDC shows that pediatric cancer rates are highest in the northeastern United States with Michigan reporting one of the highest rates in the country: between 2003 and 2014, 5,786 cases of pediatric cancer were reported. In fact, Michigan- the 10th most populated state in the Union- has the third highest rate in the Midwest (behind Illinois, the 5th most populous state, and Chicago) and the sixth highest rate in the United States.
After the Northeast, rates were highest in the Midwest, the West and lowest in the South.1
Analyzing data from the United States Cancer Statistics, the CDC identified over 170,000 cases of pediatric cancer between 2003 and 2014:2
- leukemias had the highest incident rates
- followed by brain tumors and lymphomas
- about 174 cases per one million children and teens, with rates higher in males than females
- and rates were higher in children between the ages of 0-4 and teens between the ages of 15-19, as compared to kids between the ages of 5-9 and 10-14
- Obesity responsible for 40 percent of diagnosed cancers
- Childhood Obesity is Prematurely Aging our Kids
The CDC believes that geographical variation in pediatric cancer might be influenced by exposure to carcinogenic chemicals or radiation, genetic variation in certain populations, race, access to care, age, economic status and rural/urban classification. (I’m sure we all agree on “exposure to carcinogenic chemicals. Michigan has loads of farms!) And that understanding cancer incidence rate by geographical region will help “local and state cancer registries to evaluate reporting and diagnostic standards”3 and help physicians address obstacles to care (like pediatric oncology centers, something less prevalent in smaller cities or poor states like Michigan).