Health & Wellness

Where in America is a woman most likely to be diagnosed with cancer?

iVillage / Today
Women Diagnosed with Cancer

Kentucky women hold the unenviable distinction of having the nation’s highest rates of two cancers: lung and colorectal. Washington is not much better, with the highest number of ovarian cancers and the fifth highest number of breast cancers. Oklahoma has the worst cervical cancer rate and Vermont women have the most skin cancer cases.

But in Utah and New Mexico, cancer rates are lower than the rest of the country. Utah has the nation’s lowest rate of lung and colorectal cancer, the second lowest cervical cancer rate and the fifth lowest ovarian cancer rate. In New Mexico, rates of colon, breast, skin and lung cancer all fall among the 10 lowest.

Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of women, followed by breast, colorectal, pancreatic and ovarian cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. Getting screened can help save lives. In Massachusetts, for example, women have the highest breast cancer rate in the country. But that doesn’t translate to the worst breast cancer death rate (Alaska holds that distinction). That’s likely because Massachusetts boasts the nation’s best mammogram rate.

Here’s how the states rank for each cancer, from lowest rate to highest. All rates are per 100,000 women. Numbers for Wisconsin were not available.

Breast Cancer

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, 2008

Cervical Cancer

Source: National Cancer Institute, 2009

Colorectal Cancer

Source: National Cancer Institute, 2009

Lung Cancer

Source: National Cancer Institute, 2009

Ovarian Cancer

Source: National Cancer Institute, 2009

Skin Cancer (Melanoma)

Source: National Cancer Institute, 2009

See the State of Women methodology and sources.

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.