Breast cancer is the most common female cancer in the United States, with about 268,600 new diagnoses every year, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Breast cancer is prevalent all over the country, but not all states are equal. On average, about 125 women per 100,000 are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, but in some states, the disease is more common. The state in which you’ll find the highest rate of new cases is New Hampshire, where 145.6 women per 100,000 were diagnosed in 2016 (the most recent year with complete data), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The other states with the highest breast cancer rates during that period were Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and North Dakota.
On the flip side, the state with the lowest rate of breast cancer is New Mexico, with an annual average of 106.6 per 100,000 women diagnosed during that period. The next lowest are Texas, Nevada, and South Dakota. Try these 10 foods that can lower your risk of breast cancer.
It’s unclear what’s behind the differing rates, though one possible explanation could be that New Hampshire’s population is 95 percent white—and white women have a statistically higher risk of breast cancer.
High diagnosis rates also don’t necessarily mean the worst outcomes—Mississippi has the highest breast cancer mortality rate, followed by Washington, DC and South Carolina. Check out the states with the highest overall cancer rates.
No matter where you live, there are steps you can take to protect yourself against breast cancer. Although some factors, like age, genetics, and early menstruation, can’t be avoided, other risks can. The NCI recommends maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough exercise, quitting smoking, and keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum. Don’t miss these other 50 everyday habits that reduce your risk of breast cancer.