Map shows cancer patterns in the US

Map shows cancer patterns in the US

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US: Practice of public health and the science of medicine are guiding geomedicine. The geographic ‘microscope’ will become an integral part of medical practice, according to Bill Davenhall, Head of the Health and Human Services, Esri. He was commenting on geographic analysis of breast and prostate cancer. Davenhall said that we will begin to see our doctors receive greater value out of all the data that we, as patients, are prepared to give to them — such as our individual geographic place histories as well as our genetic and lifestyle profiles.

According to the geographic analysis, Spatial trends of breast and prostate cancers in the United States between 2000 and 2005, incidence of breast and prostate cancers is not a random event. It was published in BioMed Central – International Journal of Health Geographics. While the authors state that they don’t know exact underlying factors that cause these “hot spots” — the areas seen in red on the maps — it does reveal the wide geographic variability in where people with these types of cancer live. The maps are compelling because they reveal distinct geographic patterns.

The authors suggest that breast cancer (map above) and prostate cancer (map below) cluster geographically, with a strong north-south distribution.

More alarming is the finding that in counties with a high incidence of breast cancer, there was also a high incidence of prostate cancer. The authors suggest that this could be happening because these two cancers might share similar or common risk factors (i.e. environmental).

Source: Huffington Post