Celebrating 50 years of the Iowa Cancer Registry

Celebrating 50 years of the Iowa Cancer Registry

Did you know ‘cancer’ is a reportable disease in all 50 states? To make sense of all the data, there are actually teams of health providers, medical systems, and research scientists that come together to collect this information and share with the public. And in Iowa, we have the Iowa Cancer Registry.

Since 1973, the Iowa Cancer Registry has maintained the state’s database of cancer information. And what is particularly special about the Iowa Cancer Registry is that they are one of 21 cancer registries in the United States funded by, and providing data to, the national Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. As a result, Iowa’s cancer information is robust and can provide population-based statistics on the number of cancer cases within a given community as well as the death, or mortality, rates for a specific cancer to identify trends. 

The Iowa Cancer Registry recently released their annual Cancer in Iowa report, which provides Iowans a quick look at the estimates for the “top 10” cancers in Iowa (for males and females) related to incidence and mortality. The report is publicly available, and may be useful to members of the public, health providers, and policymakers or local leaders to better understand the current state of cancer in Iowa and begin to ask questions about what we should do as a state to reduce the burden of cancer in Iowa. 

The 2023 Cancer in Iowa Report is available here: https://canceriowa.news/2023-Cancer-in-Iowa-Report-Blog 

Selected highlights from the 2023 Cancer in Iowa report include: 

  • Iowa is the only state in the nation with a significant increase in cancer incidence from the years 2015-2019, and has the second-highest overall cancer incidence of all U.S. states.
  • Iowa has the highest rate of oropharyngeal (head and neck) cancer in the country, and our rates are rising. According to the CDC, Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes 70% of all oropharyngeal cancers, meaning that many of these head and neck cancers could be prevented by the HPV vaccine.
  • An estimated 20,800 new invasive cancers (and in situ bladder cancers) will be diagnosed in 2023.
  • An estimated 6,200 Iowans will die from cancer in 2023.
  • The number of cancer survivors is growing, with an estimated 164,270 survivors in Iowa.

As cancer is the second-leading cause of death in Iowa, it is important for Iowans to know how cancer continues to impact our communities and what we can do to reduce the burden of cancer in Iowa. 

Media roundup: 2023 Cancer in Iowa Report