Sep 29, 2014 10:20 PM
New Hampshire has second highest female breast cancer rate in the U.S.
Manchester - Does living here in New Hampshire increase a woman's chances for getting breast cancer? Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control leave many wondering just that.
New Hampshire was second only to the District of Columbia when it comes to female breast cancer rates in the United States. The most recent CDC data from 2011 says out of every 100,000 people here in the Granite State, there were 141 cases of breast cancer.
Breast Surgeon Dr. Teresa Ponn of Manchester's Elliot Breast Health Center said, "We know across the world that in northern Europe and industrialized nations, especially colder climates, tend to have a higher incidence of breast cancer."
Breast cancer is most prevalent in white women, and in New Hampshire whites make up 94% of the population. Also, age is a factor.
Dr. Ponn said, "Women who have their child later in life have a higher incidence. Women who have no children have a higher incidence."
But some questions whether New Hampshire is just better at detecting breast cancer. The state does have one of the highest screening rates in the country.
In turn, that could explain a much better statistic - our state's death rate from breast cancer is much lower than the national average.
Dr. Jose Montero, Director of New Hampshire Public Health said, "When we look at that mortality rate we are 12 or 10 when you look at the U.S. as a rate. We are doing, in that direction, well."
Meanwhile Massachusetts had the third highest rate of female breast cancer in the nation, followed by Connecticut and Minnesota.
Looking at prostate cancer, the CDC says as of 2011 the prostate cancer rate among white men in New Hampshire ranked third highest in the country.