Recent data from National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control reveals that breast cancer rates are lower than the national average in Michigan, but there are several Michigan counties that buck that trend.

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How Do Breast Cancer Rates in Michigan Compare to the Rest of the Country?

Between 2016 and 2020 - the latest 5-year period for which data is available - Michigan averaged 122.7 cases of breast cancer per every 100,000 residents. That equates to nearly 8000 cases a year in the Mitten State, which is actually slightly below the national average. Nationally, cases of breast cancer are on the rise; however, Michigan levels are holding relatively steady as a whole.

RELATED: Michigan Cancer Rates by County, Considering All Types of Cancer

The 5-year average shows incidences of breast cancer in most Michigan counties either holding relatively steady or dropping, but there are a few counties where the number of annual cases is going up: Calhoun, Clinton, Ingham, Lake, Mecosta, and Presque Isle.

Photo via National Cancer Institute
Photo via National Cancer Institute

The graphic above offers a representation of breast cancer rates by county in Michigan - red and orange represent counties with the highest numbers; pale yellow counties are near average; and those with shades of blue have the lowest numbers of cancer cases.

Why Is the Breast Cancer Rate So Much Higher in Certain Michigan Counties?

There are a variety of factors which may cause some Michigan counties to have comparatively higher or lower breast cancer rates than others.

Any given county's ethnic composition can affect its numbers. For example, breast cancer rates tend to be higher among white women than women of color. This may offer an explanation as to why some of the counties with the highest rates of breast cancer in Michigan are among the state's most rural.

Access to quality medical care can have an affect a county's breast cancer rates too. Counties with comparatively better medical care options usually offer greater access to proper breast cancer screening.

Age, health behaviors and other factors can also affect the averages.

Which Michigan Counties Have the Highest Breast Cancer Rates?

County by county, here are the average numbers of breast cancer cases per 100,000 residents between 2016 and 2020 in Michigan, according to the National Cancer Institute - ranked from lowest to highest.

Breast Cancer by County in Michigan

Adjusted for population and other factors, here are all 83 Michigan counties ranked by incidences of breast cancer per 100,000 residents, as reported by the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control.

Gallery Credit: jrwitl




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