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STUDY: On and Off Reservation Counties Top South Dakota Cancer Rates

(NPN) — Age-adjusted cancer rates on several South Dakota reservation counties are among the highest in the state, but a few non-reservation counties also have higher than average rates.


The National Cancer Institute compiles State Cancer Profiles on all 50 states. The Most recent statistics for 2006-2010 show that reservation counties Shannon, Todd, Buffalo and Dewey have age adjusted death rates of 189.2 to 250.2 per 100,000 population. But non-reservation counties Custer, Fall River, Stanley, Gregory, Miner and Union also fall into the high bracket.

Nationally, the rate is 176.4 and South Dakota’s is 168.4. The NCI has a national goal of 160.6 deaths per 100,000 by 2020.

A swath of north central South Dakota counties—McPherson, Walworth, Edmunds, Faulk, Hyde and Hand—joins Lincoln, Turner, Clark, Aurora and Sanborn counties with the lowest rates in the state at 56.0 to 140.2 deaths per 100,000 population.

Several counties were excluded from the findings because of too few residents and privacy concerns.

In sheer numbers, South Dakota has 3,900 incidences of cancer annually, with Minnehaha County—South Dakota’s largest county—accounting for an average 791 incidences per year. Pennington County, the state’s second largest, had the second highest incidence at an average 470 per year.

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