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Cancer Prevention and Early Detection: 10 Key Facts for 2015

American Cancer Society researchers regularly analyze the state of cancer prevention and early detection, reporting annually on important figures and trends in the areas of tobacco use, nutrition and physical activity, UV radiation, infection and environmental risks, and cancer screening.

Below are 10 key numbers from the American Cancer Society’s 2015-2016 Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts & Figures publication. All figures are for the U.S.

27%: The percentage of adults in West Virginia who smoke, more than in any other state in the U.S. in 2013. The lowest smoking rate was in Utah, at 10%. Overall, 18% of adults in the U.S. smoke. An estimated 171,000 cancer deaths in 2015 will be caused by tobacco smoking.

22%: The percentage of adults whose highest level of education is a high school diploma who smoke. In comparison, 9% of those with an undergraduate degree smoke, and 5.6% of those with a graduate degree do so.

19%: The percentage of adolescents who are obese as of 2011-2012; 36% of adults are obese. It is estimated that up to 1 in 3 of the 1,658,370 cancer cases expected to occur in 2015 can be attributed to poor nutrition, physical inactivity, overweight, and obesity.

2%: The percentage of adults who reported using electronic cigarettes either every day or some days in 2012 and 2013, nearly double the percentage who said the same in 2010 and 2011.

50%: The percentage of adults in 2013 who reported meeting recommended levels of physical activity (at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week).

15%: The percentage of adults in 2013 who said they ate three or more servings of vegetables per day, which is the recommended amount. The report notes that “vegetables (including legumes) and fruits contain numerous vitamins, minerals, fiber, carotenoids, and other bioactive substances that may help prevent cancer.”

20%: The percentage of female high schools students surveyed in 2013 who said the used an indoor tanning device in the previous year. “The risk of melanoma is about 60% higher for people who began using indoor tanning devices before the age of 35,” according to the report.

66%: The percentage of women aged 40 and older who reported having a mammogram within the past two years.

59%: The percentage of adults 50 years of age and older who report use of either a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy within recommended time intervals. This proportion has not changed since 2008 despite the American Cancer Society recommendation for screening tests such as these to help prevent colorectal cancer.

57%: The percentage of girls aged 13 to 17 who had at least one of the three-dose HPV vaccination series in 2013. Though up from past years, the HPV vaccination rate among adolescents “lags behind other recom¬mended vaccines,” according to the report. The HPV vaccine protects against the specific types of the human papilloma virus that can cause cervical cancer.

Explore these statistics and more in Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts & Figures 2015-2016.