Traditionally, most race/sex groups in Louisiana experienced incidence rates for all cancers combined that were similar to or lower than those for the U.S. while their mortality rates significantly exceeded the national rates. Recently, however, incidence rates for all cancers combined among Louisiana men have remained about level, becoming significantly higher than national rates, which have been declining gradually. High rates of cancers of the lung and colorectum account for most of this difference. The authors of the report note that many cases of these two cancers could be prevented by making lifestyle changes such as avoiding tobacco products, reducing the intake of red meats, and increasing the role of fruits, vegetables, and physical activity in the daily regimen.
For women, Louisiana incidence for all cancers combined continues to rise slightly whereas U.S. incidence rates have been declining gradually. Despite significantly high rates for lung and colorectal cancer, Louisiana white women’s incidence rates for all cancers combined were significantly lower than nationwide in 2001-2005. While black women in Louisiana have long had significantly low lung cancer incidence, their breast cancer rates are now significantly higher than those nationally.
Louisiana has significantly high incidence for many tobacco-related cancers, including kidney, oral cavity, cervix, pancreas, larynx, stomach, colorectum, and lung.
In 2001-2005, all four major race/sex groups in Louisiana again experienced significantly high mortality rates for all cancers combined, with lung cancer accounting for much of the excess. Black women’s death rates from breast cancer have long been significantly high, indicating a need for increased use of mammograms, followed by appropriate medical care.
Increased use of screening technology would help reduce colorectal and cervical cancer incidence and mortality as well as breast cancer mortality. Louisiana residents tend to be diagnosed with more advanced disease than their national counterparts, leading to more difficult treatment and higher death rates from their disease.
The Louisiana Tumor Registry at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health is 1 of 18 cancer registries in the United States included in the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. SEER registries comprise an authoritative source of information on cancer incidence and survival in the United States. The SEER Program registries routinely collect data on patient demographics, primary tumor site, tumor morphology and stage at diagnosis, first course of treatment, and follow-up for vital status. The SEER Program is the only comprehensive source of population-based information in the United States that includes stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis and patient survival data.
Editors are faculty in the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health and include Patricia A. Andrews, MPH, Meichin Hsieh, MSPH, Brent Mumphrey, BS, Lisa A. Pareti, BS, RHIT, Beth A. Schmidt, MSPH, Mary Namiak, MPH, Edward S. Peters, DMD, SM, ScD, Xiaocheng Wu, MD, MPH, and Vivien W. Chen, PhD.
“Volume 23 of Cancer in Louisiana from the Louisiana Tumor Registry is the latest volume in over two decades of monographs providing continuous monitoring of cancer rates in Louisiana,” notes Vivien Chen, PhD, Professor and Director of the Louisiana Tumor Registry at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health. “These data provide faculty in the LSUHSC School of Public Health and others the basis for rapidly addressing emerging cancer problems.”