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CHCF Report Analyzes Cancer Trends in CA

The California HealthCare Foundation recently released a report analyzing cancer trends in California. In 2009, 55,000 Californians died of the disease and 147,000 cases were newly reported. Despite those daunting facts, the report found that since 1989, cancer mortality rates have fallen by 22% among adults and 50% among children. This may be attributed to California’s efforts to reduce the rate of smoking among adults, which has lowered the incidence of lung cancer, or more women becoming informed about the risk of hormone replacement therapy, helping to lower the rate of breast cancer by 15%.

Other findings from the report include:

  • New cancer cases in children increased by 12% between 1989 and 2009
  • In 2009, breast and prostate cancer accounted for nearly half of all cases in California
  • Cancer treatments represent $125B of health care spending nationally. Over the last 12 years, the majority of spending on cancer care has shifted from hospital inpatient stays to outpatient and office-based care.

The report also analyzed racial disparities associated with cancer trends in the state, finding that mortality rates among African Americans were 30-90% higher for all types of cancer than for other racial groups. Other key findings are illustrated in the chart below:

For details from the full report, which further highlights trends in incidence and mortality rates and includes data on national healthcare spending on cancer treatment, click here.

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