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||Regional variations in esophageal cancer rates by census region in the United States, 1999-2008.
||Drahos J, Wu M, Anderson WF, Trivers KF, King J, Rosenberg PS, Eheman C, Cook MB
||BACKGROUND: Assessment of cancer incidence trends within the U.S. have mostly relied upon Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data, with implicit inference that such is representative of the general population. However, many cancer policy decisions are based at a more granular level. To help inform such, analyses of regional cancer incidence data are needed. Leveraging the unique resource of National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR)-SEER, we assessed whether regional rates and trends of esophageal cancer significantly deviated from national estimates. METHODS: From NPCR-SEER, we extracted cancer case counts and populations for whites aged 45-84 years by calendar year, histology, sex, and census region for the period 1999-2008. We calculated age-standardized incidence rates (ASRs), annual percent changes (APCs), and male-to-female incidence rate ratios (IRRs). RESULTS: This analysis included 65,823 esophageal adenocarcinomas and 27,094 esophageal squamous cell carcinomas diagnosed during 778 million person-years. We observed significant geographic variability in incidence rates and trends, especially for esophageal adenocarcinomas in males: ASRs were highest in the Northeast (17.7 per 100,000) and Midwest (18.1). Both were significantly higher than the national estimate (16.0). In addition, the Northeast APC was 62% higher than the national estimate (3.19% vs. 1.97%). Lastly, IRRs remained fairly constant across calendar time, despite changes in incidence rates. CONCLUSION: Significant regional variations in esophageal cancer incidence trends exist in the U.S. Stable IRRs may indicate the predominant factors affecting incidence rates are similar in men and women.