Complete Indicator Profile - Cancer Mortality Rate - All (HA2020 Leading Health Indicator: 1)

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State of Alaska

Complete Indicator Profile of Cancer Mortality Rate - All (HA2020 Leading Health Indicator: 1)


Rate of mortality from all cancers per 100,000 population.


Number of deaths due to cancer for a specific time period.


Mid-year resident population for a specific time period.

Data Interpretation Issues

Cancer cases are invasive, except for special instances such as bladder cancers which include in situ. Mortality rates may vary from source to source. This may be due to using provisional data or using different population databases. The Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics uses population estimates provided by the State Demographer in the Research and Analysis Section of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. In contrast, the cancer mortality rates provided by the Alaska Cancer Registry use population estimates provided by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER) of the National Cancer Institute.

Why Is This Important?

Although there have been declines in the death rates for all cancers over the past decade, cancer remains the leading cause of mortality among all Alaskans and among Alaska Native people. Cancer mortality represents an important public health concern not only because of the burden of cancer among the population, but because there are effective means for cancer prevention and for the early detection and treatment of cancer. Monitoring cancer mortality rates is an important way to assess efforts being made to prevent and treat cancer, including screening efforts. Several other HA2020 leading health indicators are related to this objective because they monitor risk factors associated with cancer such as tobacco use, physical activity, and diet.

Healthy People Objective C-1:

Reduce the overall cancer death rate
U.S. Target: 160.6 deaths per 100,000 population
State Target: Healthy Alaskans 2020 Target: 162.0 per 100,000 population

What Is Being Done?

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services initiated the Alaska Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (CCCP), a statewide partnership whose goal is to reduce the burden of cancer. The mission of the CCCP is to lower cancer incidence and mortality in Alaska through collaborative efforts directed toward cancer prevention and control. As a result of this planning process, objectives and strategies have been developed by community partners regarding the early detection of cervical, lung, prostate, skin, breast, ovarian, and colorectal cancers as well as the promotion of physical activity, healthy eating habits, and smoking cessation.

Evidence-based Practices

As part of the Healthy Alaskans 2020 health improvement process, groups of Alaskan subject matter experts met over a period of months in a rigorous review process to identify and prioritize strategies to address the 25 health priorities. Public health partners around the state are aligning work around these approaches adapted to Alaska's unique needs. Below are the strategies identified for enhancing adolescent support systems.

Strategy 1:
Increase breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening.

Evidence Base:
Screening increases the chances of detecting certain cancers early, when they are most likely to be curable. Increasing screening rates will reduce the rate of deaths due to cancer in those cancers that can be screened for (breast, cervical and colorectal cancer). Currently 61% of Alaskans have been screened for colorectal cancer, 72% for breast cancer and 81% for cervical cancer (Alaska BRFSS 2010).

Recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force:
The Community Guide:

Strategy 2:
Increase participation in clinical trials.

Evidence Base:
Participation in clinical trials promotes the development of new cancer treatments and expands the number of options available to a cancer patient. Clinical trials also offer opportunities to try potentially effective new treatments. More effective diagnostic and treatment options will reduce cancer incidence and mortality. Only modest gains have been achieved in cancer mortality since 1993. Successful development of new cancer therapies requires translation of laboratory observations into the clinic, with clinical trials representing the application of the scientific method to this process. Fewer than 5% of adult cancer patients enroll in clinical trials.


Strategy 3:
Increase use of patient navigation for improving access to cancer screening, timely diagnosis and treatment, and palliative care.

Evidence Base:
Successful patient navigation supports those diagnosed with suspicious findings by eliminating barriers to timely screening, treatment, and supportive care of cancer and other chronic diseases. Patient navigation saves lives and improves resolution rates of patients. When implemented at the organizational level within a community, it results in increased efficiencies and improved outcomes.

Harold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Institute:

Related Indicators

Relevant Population Characteristics

The risk of developing cancer increases with increasing age.

Related Relevant Population Characteristics Indicator Profiles:

Related Health Care System Factors Indicator Profiles:

Risk Factors

Increasing age is a risk factor for developing cancer.

Related Risk Factors Indicator Profiles:

Graphical Data Views

Cancer mortality rate, all ages (age-adjusted), all Alaskans, Alaska Natives, and U.S., 2001-2020

::chart - missing::

Alaska Comparisons Year Cancer mortality per 100,000 population Numer- ator
Record Count: 47
All Alaskans 2001 193.3
All Alaskans 2002 191.2
All Alaskans 2003 190.2
All Alaskans 2004 186.5
All Alaskans 2005 171.7
All Alaskans 2006 178.7
All Alaskans 2007 184.0
All Alaskans 2008 180.9
All Alaskans 2009 184.5
All Alaskans 2010 176.1 879
All Alaskans 2011 173.9
All Alaskans 2012 163.4
All Alaskans 2013 167.5
Alaska Natives 2001 255.5
Alaska Natives 2002 251.5
Alaska Natives 2003 248.7
Alaska Natives 2004 275.2
Alaska Natives 2005 212.0
Alaska Natives 2006 243.7
Alaska Natives 2007 274.6
Alaska Natives 2008 223.2
Alaska Natives 2009 251.2
Alaska Natives 2010 238.9
Alaska Natives 2011 238.9
Alaska Natives 2012 240.8
Alaska Natives 2013 272.5
U.S. 2001 196.5
U.S. 2002 194.3
U.S. 2003 190.9
U.S. 2004 186.8
U.S. 2005 185.1
U.S. 2006 181.8
U.S. 2007 179.3
U.S. 2008 176.4
U.S. 2009 173.5
U.S. 2010 172.8
U.S. 2011 169.0
U.S. 2012 166.5
U.S. 2013 163.2
Healthy Alaskans Goal 2013 162.0
Healthy Alaskans Goal 2014 162.0
Healthy Alaskans Goal 2015 162.0
Healthy Alaskans Goal 2016 162.0
Healthy Alaskans Goal 2017 162.0
Healthy Alaskans Goal 2018 162.0
Healthy Alaskans Goal 2019 162.0
Healthy Alaskans Goal 2020 162.0

Data Notes

Healthy Alaskans 2020 Target: 162.0 per 100,000.

** Data Not Available.

Age-adjusted to U.S. 2000 population.

Number of deaths due to cancer defined as International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-9 codes 140-208 and ICD-10 codes C00-C97) as the underlying cause of death among residents during a calendar year.

Cancer is not a single disease, but rather numerous diseases with different causes, risks, and potential interventions. Interpretation of increases or decreases in cancer mortality can be made only by examination of specific types of cancers. Because certain cancers have a long latency period, years might pass before changes in behavior or clinical practice patterns affect cancer mortality. In addition, certain cancers are not amenable to primary prevention or screening.   Alaska/Alaska Native - Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics
U.S. - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - National Center for Health Statistics - Mortality Data Release Series

Data Sources

  • Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics, Division of Public Health, Department of Health and Social Services
  • National Center for Health Statistics

References and Community Resources

Alaska Comprehensive Cancer Control Program @
Susan G. Komen Foundation @
American Cancer Society @
National Cancer Institute @
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention @
American Society of Clinical Oncology @

More Resources and Links

Alaska and national goals may be found at the following sites:

Maps of health indicators for various subdivisions of Alaska may be found at the following site:

Evidence-based community health improvement ideas and interventions may be found at the following sites:

Additional indicator data by state and county may be found on these Websites:

Medical literature can be queried at the PubMed website.

For an on-line medical dictionary, click on this Dictionary link.

Page Content Updated On 01/14/2015, Published on 01/15/2015
The information provided above is from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services' Center for Health Data and Statistics, Alaska Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health (Ak-IBIS) web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Tue, 28 July 2015 11:41:02 from Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Center for Health Data and Statistics, Alaska Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health web site:".

Content updated: Thu, 15 Jan 2015 10:52:10 AKST