Skip directly to searchSkip directly to the site navigationSkip directly to the page's main content

Cancer

The Utah Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program (UCCP) helps low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women gain access to timely breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnostic, and treatment services. UCCP also provides patient navigation services to help women overcome barriers and get timely access to quality care.

To see if you qualify for a FREE screening or to schedule an appointment, call: 1-800-717-1811

Cancer is a term used for a broad class of diseases involving abnormal cells that multiply uncontrollably.

Cancer can develop anywhere in the body, so there are many different types of cancer. On average, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime.

Each day, approximately 60 billion human cells go through a process called apoptosis, or controlled cell death. Normally, these cells die and new ones replace them, but not always.

Sometimes a cell does not die when it should. Typically, this occurs when the cell has a faulty gene, is infected, or has been damaged by some kind of exposure. In most cases, those kinds of cells are dormant (alive but not actively growing). Rarely, one of these abnormal cells may remain active and start to multiply. Most of these active damaged cells are destroyed by the immune system before they can form a tumor. Typically, the average person will have this kind of activity in their bodies several times a minute. In very rare cases, a few damaged cells may survive and form a growth large enough to become a tumor. When this happens, a person has developed cancer. As the tumor grows it interrupts and disrupts normal body function and displaces normal tissue, or it releases abnormal levels of molecules, such as hormones or enzymes, into the body.

Cancer has many causes.

Several factors, both inside and outside the body, contribute to the development of cancer. Some of these factors include genetics, tobacco, diet, weight, physical inactivity, and excessive sunlight exposure. Other factors include exposure to ionizing radiation and environmental chemicals that may be present in the workplace, food, air, or water such as asbestos, benzene, and arsenic.

Visit the National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER) website to find more in-depth cancer statistics for the United States.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in both the United States and Utah. The financial costs of cancer are substantial. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality estimates the direct medical costs for cancer in the United States in 2019 were $140.7 billion.

Incidence

The lung cancer incidence rate* in Utah is approximately half the U.S. rate. In 2016 (the most recent national data available), the U.S. lung cancer incidence rate was 56 lung cancer cases per 100,000 people compared to the Utah rate of 25.6 cases per 100,000 people.

*Incidence rate refers to the number of new cases diagnosed in a population within a certain time period.

Mortality

The age-adjusted cancer mortality (death) rate in Utah has generally decreased over the last 30 years. In 2020, the age-adjusted cancer mortality rate in Utah was 119.5 deaths per 100,000 people, down from a rate of 131.9 deaths per 100,000 people in 2010.

There are differences in cancer mortality rates throughout Utah based on geography, race, ethnicity, age, and sex. For years 2018 to 2020, the Tooele County local health district (LHD) had the highest cancer mortality rate (141.6 deaths per 100,000 persons) in the state compared to other LHDs, while the Summit County LHD had the lowest (89.5 deaths per 100,000 persons). Differences in cancer mortality rates can also be seen within each LHD at the Utah Small Area level (see Small Area Data View).

People who are non-Hispanic had a significantly higher rate of cancer mortality (117.2 deaths per 100,000 persons) than people who are Hispanic (91.1 deaths per 100,000 persons), based on age-adjusted data from 2018 to 2020. For that same time period, people who identify as Black and Pacific Islander had the highest rates of cancer mortality (135.2 deaths per 100,000 persons and 166.4 deaths per 100,000 persons, respectively) when compared to all other races, while those people who identify as Asian or American Indian/Alaskan Native had a significantly lower rate of cancer mortality (75.7 deaths per 100,000 persons and 71.7 deaths per 100,000 persons, respectively; both are statistically significant) compared to all other races.

The rate of cancer death significantly increases with age, regardless of sex. For ages 0-54, women are more likely to die as a result of cancer than men, though after age 55, men are more likely to die as a result of cancer than women.

See additional data views for more detailed information.

How do we compare with the U.S.?

The age-adjusted overall cancer mortality rate in Utah has been consistently lower than the U.S. rate for the last 30 years. The latest comparative data reports from 2018 indicate the Utah cancer death rate was 120.5 deaths per 100,000 persons, significantly lower than the U.S. rate of 149.2 deaths per 100,000 persons.

Nobody is immune from getting cancer.

Although scientific studies have shown specific risk factors increase the risk for cancer, sometimes people who have no risk factors still develop cancer and people who have many risk factors do not develop cancer. The following list contains common cancer risk factors:
  • Old age- the risk of developing cancer increases with age.
  • Race and ethnicity- people of certain races and heredity are at higher risk for certain types of cancer. For example, women who identify as African American are more likely to die from breast cancer than women who are white.
  • Tobacco use- Smoking and secondhand smoke cause about 80% to 90% of lung cancer deaths in the United States. Tobacco use can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body, not just the lungs.
  • Certain environmental exposures such as formaldehyde exposure in the workplace or radon exposure in the home.
  • Genetics and family history- Your family members may share genes, habits, and environments that can affect your risk of getting cancer.
  • Certain medical conditions and diseases such as a weak immune system, diabetes, Crohn's disease, or human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

There are many ways to reduce your risk for cancer.

Following these guidelines will not only reduce your risk for cancer, but improve your general health as well:
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Do not smoke; if you smoke, look for ways to quit.
  • If you drink alcohol, consume it in moderation.
  • Receive proper immunizations; certain infectious diseases like the human papillomavirus (HPV) and Hepatitis B and C could lead to cancer later in life.
  • Protect your skin from the sun; wear proper sun-protective clothing and use plenty of sunscreen when you are outside.
  • Limit your exposure to environmental risk factors, such as asbestos, radon, arsenic, and benzene.
  • Get regular medical check ups and follow cancer screening recommendations.

Resources

  • Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER) - National Cancer Institute - The premier source for cancer statistics in the United States
  • EJSCREEN Tool - EJSCREEN is a mapping tool provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It combines environmental and demographic information about environmental justice topics. Relevant to cancer, EJSCREEN provides data on the lifetime cancer risk from inhalation of air toxics.
  • The Utah Cancer Control Program (UCCP) - Learn about free cancer screening in your area. UCCP partners with local health departments, community clinics, hospitals and healthcare professionals, community-based organizations, worksites, schools, and policymakers to provide evidence-based strategies to reduce cancer risk, find cancers at an early stage, improve treatment, increase the number of individuals who survive cancer, and improve the quality of life for cancer survivors.

Fact sheets about cancer in Utah


Publications


Program websites

Indicator reports (includes contextual information)


Additional data views

  • Statewide age-adjusted incidence rate of acute lymphocytic leukemia in children, by year: Under age 15 and Under age 20

Indicator reports (includes contextual information)


Additional data views

Indicator reports (includes contextual information)


Additional data views

Indicator reports (includes contextual information)


Additional data views

Indicator reports (includes contextual information)


Additional data views

  • Statewide number of cases of brain and central nervous system cancer: by sex, by year
  • Number of cases of brain and central nervous system cancer, by 5-year group: Statewide and by county

  • Statewide age-adjusted rates of brain and central nervous system cancer: by year and by sex, by year
  • Age-adjusted rates of brain and central nervous system cancer, by 5-year group: Statewide and by county

Indicator reports (includes contextual information)


Additional data views

Additional data views

Count cases
Age-adjusted rates

Additional data views

Additional data views

Additional data views

Indicator reports (includes contextual information)


Additional data views

Indicator reports (includes contextual information)


Additional data views

Additional data views

  • Statewide number of cases of liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer: by year and by sex, by year
  • Number of cases of liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer, by 5-year group: Statewide and by county

  • Statewide age-adjusted rates of liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer: by year and by sex, by year
  • Age-adjusted rates of liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer, by 5-year group: Statewide and by county

Additional data views

Additional data views

Indicator reports (includes contextual information)


Additional data views

Additional data views

Additional data views

Additional data views

Additional data views

  • Statewide number of cases of testicular cancer: by year
  • Number of cases of testicular cancer, by 5-year group: Statewide and by county

  • Statewide age-adjusted rates of testicular cancer: by year
  • Age-adjusted rates of testicular cancer, by 5-year group: Statewide and by county

Cancer registry data query


Click here to view all available public queries and metadata for all secure portal queries.
Utah Tracking receives cancer data from two sources:
  • The Utah Cancer Registry (UCR) maintains cancer data, which allows public health to monitor trends in cancer incidence and evaluate prevention and control measures. One of the main functions of the UCR is to serve as a resource for researchers, physicians, hospitals, and the Utah Department of Health and Human Services. The UCR also provides local data to national agencies such as the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, for the purpose of generating national cancer statistics. It also serves as an educational and data resource for physicians and institutions, stimulates research into all aspects of cancer in Utah, and promotes updated cancer diagnosis and treatment. The primary funding source for UCR comes from the National Cancer Institute, with supplementary funding from the University of Utah and the Utah Department of Health and Human Services.
  • The Utah Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Vital Records and Statistics tracks every death due to cancer in the state. Deaths are recorded as being due to cancer when cancer was the primary cause of death. A person may die from other causes but have active cancer at the same time.

View complete metadata.
Requests for a cancer statistical review should be made through your local health department.

The Utah Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Environmental Epidemiology Program (EEP) assists Utah's local health departments by investigating public concerns of cancer clusters. The EEP receives data about cancer incidence, as reported from the Utah Cancer Registry. Using these data, the EEP conducts statistical reviews of cancer incidence for Utah communities. The goals of a statistical review are to (1) determine if there is more cancer than would be expected under normal circumstances, (2) investigate the presence of potential environmental hazards (such as hazardous waste sites) which may contribute to a community's cancer risk, and (3) increase the public's knowledge regarding cancer and cancer risk factors. The protocol for conducting these investigations is located here: Protocol for investigating cancer cluster concerns in Utah.


Location Year Report link
Box Elder County 2013 Western Bear River Valley
Davis County 2013 Dioxin Concerns in South Davis County
Davis County 2012 West Point
Davis County 2007 Layton
Davis County 2007 Bountiful and Woods Cross
Davis County 2005 Areas around Hill Air Force Base
Davis County 2003 Sunset and Clinton
Grand County 2018 Cancer Incidence Statistical Review- Five Year Update for Moab
Grand County 2013 Cancer Incidence Statistical Review for Moab
Salt Lake County 2015 Red Butte Creek Oil Spill
Salt Lake County 2006 Cottonwood Heights
San Juan County 2012 Monticello Uranium and Vanadium Mill
Utah County 2004 Mapleton
Statewide 2016 Leukemia: Statewide Investigation
Statewide 2015 Thyroid Cancer: Statewide Investigation
Statewide 2013 Brain Cancers: Statewide Investigation
Special investigation 2008 Electromagnetic Fields Proximity in Schools
Special investigation 2006 Childhood Leukemia to High Traffic Roads in Utah
The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site (http://epht.health.utah.gov). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sat, 01 October 2022 9:21:28 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: http://epht.health.utah.gov ".

Content updated: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 10:25:07 MDT