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Granite State Has Highest Rate Of Breast Cancer

Jason Meredith

New Hampshire has a higher rate of breast cancer than any state in the U.S. according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2011 - the most recent data available is from back - out of every 100,000 people in the state, there were 141.7 cases of breast cancer. In part, that’s because of demographic; breast cancer is most prevalent in white women, and New Hampshire is about 94 percent white.

Nancy Ryan, President of the New Hampshire Breast Cancer Coalition, says she’s been watching these numbers for a couple decades. She says the state has just about always been in the top ten. And she puts some perspective on that seemingly scary data point.

"It could be that we’re just doing a really good job in relation to the other states in screening mammograms," says Ryan. "The more you screen women, the more breast cancer you will find. Whether there is some environmental connection, the causes are not entirely clear."

The breast cancer rate in New Hampshire is second to the District of Columbia, and then followed by Massachusetts, Connecticut, Minnesota and Washington state.

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Before joining NHPR in August 2014, Jack was a freelance writer and radio reporter. His work aired on NPR, BBC, Marketplace and 99% Invisible, and he wrote for the Christian Science Monitor and Northern Woodlands.
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