The 2020 Cancer in Iowa report, released in March 2020 by the State Health Registry of Iowa, estimates 18,700 new cancers will be diagnosed among Iowa residents this year, an increase of 600 cases from 2019. Breast cancer will remain the most common type of cancer diagnosed among females, while prostate cancer remains the most common type among males.
The report estimates 6,400 Iowans will die from cancer in this year. Lung cancer will continue to be the most common cause of cancer death for both males and females and will be responsible for about 1,550 – or approximately one out of every four – cancer deaths in Iowa.
Cancer in Iowa 2020, based on data from the State Health Registry of Iowa and the Iowa Department of Public Health, is available online in the “publications” section on the Registry’s website or by calling the Registry at 319-335-8609. The report includes county-by-county statistics, summaries of new research projects, and a special section focused on ovarian cancer.
Among cancers of the female reproductive system, ovarian cancer is the deadliest. It is estimated that 13,940 women will die of ovarian cancer in the United States this year. While it is the 11th most common cancer in women, it is the 5th leading cause of cancer-related deaths.
Although ovarian cancer mortality rates in Iowa decreased 35% between 1973 and 2017 due in part to a decrease in new cases as well as advances in treatment, researchers say mortality rates would improve further if more cases of ovarian cancer could be detected at an earlier stage, before the disease has spread to other parts of the body. Unfortunately no effective screening methods have been identified.
“Another way to improve outcomes for ovarian cancer is to ensure that patients have access to treatment from gynecologic oncologists, or physicians who have received highly specialized training in treating cancers that start in women’s reproductive organs” stated Dr. Mary Charlton, Associate Director of the State Health Registry of Iowa. “Particularly in a rural state like Iowa, it is important to address barriers that patients may face in traveling to the large, urban medical centers where gynecologic oncologists typically practice.”
Included in this year’s report are questions to ask one’s doctor when diagnosed with cancer, including questions about the type of cancer, what to expect once diagnosed, and questions regarding cancer treatment and side effects. Iowans may find it helpful to review these questions prior to appointments. There are also suggestions listed for ways of coping with emotions once diagnosed with cancer.