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Cancer instance and mortality trends in Chester County are headed in the right direction, but both remain above the state average for nearly every cancer type. The information comes from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and covers the period from 1996 to 2010.
The instances of all types of cancer have come down in Chester over the period of the study. The high point in terms of cases came between 1997 and 2001, when there were documented cases. As of 2010, the number was just under 500. However, statewide, the highest number was just under 490 (between 2001 and 2005) and the number is now under 470. The statewide numbers reflect the number of cases per 100,000 people.
The cancer mortality trends show that Chester County had the most cancer deaths between 1998 and 2001, when the number was pegged at 225. There was a decline to 203 between 2003 and 2007, but the number went back over 210 between 2005 and 2009 and is now at 207. The statewide number was at its highest between 1996 and 2000, when it hit 211. However, there has been a steady decline in cancer deaths since then, with the number at 188 between 2006 and 2010 and continuing to trend downward. The number of lung cancer incidence has declined 2.3 percent statewide over the course of the study as opposed to 3.2 percent in Chester County. However, Chester has had more cases than the state as a whole since at least 1996, with 90 cases from 2006 to 2010, while the state (per 100,000 people) reported 80 cases.
The lung cancer death rate has declined statewide by 8.4 percent over the course of the study, but it has increased in Chester County by 1.3 percent. The state number per 100,000 was at 55 from 2006 to 2010, while there were 70 cases in Chester County.
Colorectal Cancer rates have dropped substantially both in the county and statewide since 1996, with Chester (at 28.6 percent) actually experiencing a greater drop than the state (20.1 percent). However, as of the 2006 to 2010 timeframe, Chester still had more actual cases (52) than the state (42).
The mortality rate for colorectal cancer in Chester County has dropped by 26.1 percent over the course of the study. In fact, between 2002 and 2006, the county actually had fewer colorectal cancer deaths than the state. However, the number has risen slightly in-county since then while dropping in the state. Between 2006 and 2010 there were 19 colorectal cancer deaths in Chester, while the state saw 17 per 100,000 people.
Prostate cancer cases are now actually slightly less prevalent in Chester County than in the state as a whole. The rate in-county was higher from 1996 until around 2006, then dropped. From 2006 until 2010, there were 150 cases in Chester County compared to 152 per 100,000 statewide. The prostate cancer deaths were higher in-county than statewide from 1996 until around 2004. Chester's rate stayed lower for several years, rose above the state number and the two are basically identical at 27 cases. The drop has been impressive, though, with Chester's rate dropping 36.3 percent over the course of the study and the state rate plunging 34.3 percent.
The rate of breast cancer cases in the county and the state have remained very close over the study period. In-county the rate did increase slightly (1.2 percent) while the statewide rate dropped by 2.3 percent. As of the 2006 to 2010 period, there were about 120 cases in Chester County and 120 cases per 100,000 statewide. The mortality rate was higher in the county, however. After dropping below the state rate for a time, the local number jumped in recent years. After hitting a low of 20 deaths for several years, the number was up to 32 between 2006 and 2010. The state rate has dropped slightly over the years, standing at 24 per 100,000 people between 2006 and 2010.