October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and as such, it’s important to note that New Jersey has one of the highest incidence of breast cancer in the nation, with 129.3 women out of 100,000 diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, according to statehealthfacts.org, a project of the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation.
What’s worse is New Jersey’s death rate from breast cancer. While the entire Northeast has a high rate of diagnosis, most states have relatively low death rates. New Jersey’s rate of 26.1 women per 100,000 was the second-highest rate of cancer deaths among states in 2007, behind only Delaware and the District of Columbia. The national average for incidence of breast cancer is 120 per 100,000 women. The national death rate is 22.8 per 100,000.
The racial-ethnic breakdown in New Jersey is similar to that of national rates. White women were most likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer in New Jersey, with 133 per 100,000 women diagnosed, followed by black women with 177 per 100,000, and Hispanics with a rate of 89.9 per 100,000. The death rate, however, flips at the top, with black women more likely to die of breast cancer, at 30.7 per 100,000; white women at 26.1 per 100,000 and Hispanic women at 12.4 per 100,000.