How many people have cancer in Arizona? Over the last couple of decades, cancer cases have been on a steady rise throughout the state. In 20 years, there were more than 530,000 cases recorded in Arizona, with the highest number of cases in 2015, the most recent year for which there is data.
The leading type of cancer during this 20-year period was breast cancer, with a little under 80,000 cases. Cancer of the lung and bronchus had the second-highest rate of occurrence with about 73,000 cases, and the third highest rate was colorectal cancer with more than 51,000 cases.
All data in this resource are courtesy of the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Annual Numbers of Arizona Cancer Cases
As cancer remains a threat to Arizonans of all ages, accurate documentation and recordkeeping assist research efforts and provide detailed and segmented information. The most recent year for which there is accurate data is 2015.
The total number of cancer cases of all types diagnosed in Arizona in each of the last five years are:
- 2015: 30,917 cases; 15,567 male, 15,260 female
- 2014: 30,648 cases; 15,437 male, 15,211 female
- 2013: 29,443 cases; 14,762 male, 14,681 female
- 2012: 28,979 cases; 14,378 male, 14,601 female
- 2011: 29,198 cases; 14,755 male, 14,443 female
The annual overall numbers show a gradual but steady increase in cancer diagnoses.
From 1995 to 2015, the highest rate of cancer was in the 65-to-69 age group, with 77,466 cases. From age 20 to age 59, women experienced more cancer diagnoses men. Before and after that age group, men suffered more recorded cases of cancer.
In this 20-year period, 999 males and 951 females under the age of 4 were diagnosed with cancer, compared to 537 males and 435 females in the 5-to-9-year-old age group.
Arizona Cancer Statistics by Gender
In that 20-year span, males had a slightly higher rate of cancer than females, but the gap began to close near the end of that time frame. Here are some important stats to call attention to:
- Overall, there were 273,987 cases of cancer in males, while 256,374 females received cancer diagnoses.
- The highest incidence of cancer in women was breast cancer, with 78,475 cases of this type in women, compared to only 906 cases in males.
- The highest number of cases for males was prostate cancer, with 69,365 cases.
- The smallest number of cancer cases belongs to Kaposi sarcoma, with only 30 cases diagnosed in females over those 20 years, and only 379 cases among males.
Women have three types of cancer on the list that men are not able to have (corpus uteri and uterus, cervix uteri, and ovary) due to differing anatomy, while men only have two types of cancer that women can’t have (testicular and prostate). However, there was one recorded case of prostate cancer in women during those 20 years.
The highest number of cancer cases occurred in the white or non-Hispanic population of Arizona, with 440,956 cases over 20 years. Of those, just under 230,000 of those were male, while more than 210,000 involved female.
The statistics show the white, non-Hispanic population had almost seven times as many cancer cases as other ethnic groups in the state.
Some other interesting data on cancer cases by ethnic group:
- Asian/Pacific Islanders had the fewest diagnosed cases of all ethnic groups, with only 6,124 over 20 years.
- American Indians experienced 11,623 cases in this 20-year span.
- African-Americans had 12,791 diagnoses overall.
While there are many more white, non-Hispanic Arizonans who receive cancer diagnoses each year, they also have the largest population, explaining their high volume of cancer compared to other ethnic groups.
Breast cancer held the top spot for the number of recorded cases in Arizona from 1995 to 2015. With 78,475 documented cases, it held the lead above lung and bronchus cancer, which has 72,996 documented cases. The third-highest type of cancer in Arizona was prostate cancer with 69,366 cases.
The lowest rate of cancer in those 20 years was Kaposi sarcoma, with only 409 cases documented. The second-lowest incidence of cancer was bone and joint cancer, with 1,161 cases statewide. Mesothelioma was the third-lowest type of cancer, with 1,271 cases in that span.
Maricopa County Cancer Statistics
Maricopa County skyrockets over the others with its sheer number of cancer cases. There were 300,217 cases of cancer in Maricopa County between 1995 and 2015, compared to just over 90,000 cases in Pima County, the second-most populous county in the state.
The smallest number of cases was in Greenlee County, with only 695 total cases in those 20 years.
Maricopa County is home to the largest percentage of Arizona’s population, with more than 4 million of the almost 7 million people who live in the state. Maricopa County covers 10 cities that are among the most populated in the state. From 1995 to 2015, it saw more than triple the volume of cancer cases than any other county in Arizona.
Here are some important notes on cancer in Maricopa County:
- The most documented types of cases belonged to breast cancer, with 46,421 diagnoses between 1995 and 2015.
- Number two on the list was lung and bronchus cancer, with 39,762 cases.
- Number three was prostate cancer, with 39,463 cases.
- In the 65-to-69-year-old group, there were 41,407 cases; more than 23,000 of these were males and about 18,000 were females.
- The lowest rate of cancer in the county was in the 5-to-9-year-old age group. There were 622 reported cases among this group, with 348 involving males and 274 of them involving females.
Pima County Cancer Statistics
Pima County is the second-most populous county in the state, and it recorded 90,216 cases of cancer between 1995 and 2015. Of those, 45,477 were male and 44,739 were female. Pima County thus showed the same trend as that state overall – the trend being that males have a slightly higher occurrence of cancer than females.
Other important facts regarding cancer in Pima County:
- Breast cancer also lead the way in Pima County, just as in Maricopa County, with 13,524 cases over the 20-year period.
- The second-highest rate in Pima County, as in Maricopa County’s case, was lung and bronchus cancer, with 12,061 diagnoses.
- The third-highest rate was prostate cancer, with 11,130 cases.
- Females had more recorded cases of cancer than males from age 20 to age 59, but that was the only exception among all age groups.
Pinal County Cancer Statistics
In Pinal County, the numbers show lung and bronchial cancer as the No. 1 cancer, with 2,111 males and 1,441 females diagnosed with it from 1995 to 2015. This bucks the trend of the state’s high rate of breast cancer, which ranked third in Pinal County with 3,235 cases over 20 years.
Meanwhile, the second-most common type of cancer in the county was prostate cancer, with 3,339 diagnoses. Kaposi sarcoma was also at the bottom of the list here, with only six cases. Bone and joint cancer was the next rarest type of cancer, with just 51 cases.
Overall, Pinal County recorded a total of 24,475 cases of cancer in 20 years.
Coconino County Cancer Statistics
Coconino County includes Flagstaff, a major hub of northern Arizona. Breast cancer led the way here with 1,234 cases between 1995 and 2015. Prostate cancer followed with 1,059 cases. Only seven males and no females received diagnoses of Kaposi sarcoma in 20 years, making it a very rare form of cancer in the county.
Coconino County women have more recorded cases of cancer than men after the age of 30, and it continues until age 55. Females of ages 5 to 9 had the smallest number of documented cases (only five), while 65-to-69-year-olds had the most cases, with 1,074 over the 20-year period.
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