Cancer Incidence Rates/Cancer Death Rates


Please read footnotes, titles and explanations with each chart for source(s) and explanation of data.  It is important to note that some of the data presented below can not be taken as absolutely definitive since a minimum of 15 cases are required to calculate a stable age-adjusted rate. Considering the small populations in our rural counties, in several instances, the age-adjusted rates displayed below were calculated with fewer than 15 cases.  Also, where the information is left blank, counts/rates were suppressed, likely due to having fewer than 5 reported cases within the specified category.


Some of the tables below have filters.  In such, use these filters to select the “category” for which you are interested, this will also change the trend chart.  Then, click the county/counties within the legend of the associated trend chart to view the county/counties for which you are interested.


Kentucky ranks 1st in the nation for cancer rates. More than 4 out of 10 cancer cases in adults in the United States could be prevented. Cigarette smoking, alcohol use, physical inactivity, excessive body weight, lower than optimal consumption of fruit, vegetables and fiber, and too much processed or red meat increase the risk for many cancers.

Cancer Incidence Rates per 100,000

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  • Age-adjusted Rate

Cancer Death Rates per 100,000

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  • Age-adjusted Rate

Analysis (February 2018)

Using the data from the tables above, five year average rates were calculated (see below) as several counties had small case numbers and wide variability in rates over the years.

Average 5 Year Cancer Incidence Rates (2012-2016)

wdt_ID County Colorectal Cancer Lung Cancer Breast Cancer (Female)
1 Adair 56.2 69.7 127.2
2 Casey 56.7 107.4 128.8
3 Clinton 66.5 122.6 98.9
4 Cumberland 59.6 122.3 115.8
5 Green 64.4 98.6 166.9
6 McCreary 54.2 134.3 132.9
7 Pulaski 50.0 91.2 172.9
8 Russell 57.0 103.4 142.7
9 Taylor 64.2 104.4 162.7
10 Wayne 49.0 102.5 111.3

Notes: * – Data unavailable for 1-2 years due to low case numbers; ND – data not available for 3 years due to low case numbers.

Lung cancer incidence is very high in our district, especially in McCreary County where it is more than twice the national average and where smoking rates are the highest within our district.

Female breast cancer incidence is lower in the Lake Cumberland district than the nation; however, McCreary County has higher rates than both Kentucky and the United States.

Colon cancer rates are higher for the district than for Kentucky or the nation.


Smoking tobacco is responsible for 90% of lung cancers; lowering smoking rates would dramatically decrease lung cancer and its mortality.

The health department in conjunction with local coalitions is working towards Smoke-free public environments, as second hand smoke increases the risk of developing lung cancer in non-smokers.

Risk factors for breast cancer include alcohol use and obesity. Also, early detection lowers death rates as cancers found early are easier to treat. The LCDHD provides cancer screening services with referral for mammography.

Low dietary calcium and fiber intake, and consumption of excessive red meat and processed meat increase the risk of colon cancer. Colon cancer screening, either by stool tests or colonoscopy, help to find pre-cancers which can be removed prior to progression to cancer.