The good news is that New Jerseyans have access to remarkably good health care. With the close proximity to medical centers in New York City and Philadelphia (and even Boston and Baltimore) the care available to citizens of The Garden State far surpasses what’s available to most Americans.
The bad news is that four of the 21 counties in NJ are cancer hot spots. The worse news is that the hot spots are changing.
The enduring hot spot is scenic Cape May. With a legacy of industrial pollution and being downwind from Delaware chemical factories, it has had problems and continues to do so.
The list used to include Ocean, Salem and Gloucester Counties. Cancer incidence seems to have subsided in some of these areas.
The new entrant to the list is Burlington County. Further research is required to see if there is a clustering around Ft. Dix and McGuire AFB or if the problem is more generally distributed.
Current incidence of cancer in NJ is shown in the chart below. The chart is based on all cancer types/site for both males and females and all age groups.
Remarkably, the old industrial cities of NJ report relatively low cancer rates. Of course, that could be attributed in part due to other environmental issues in those areas that can cause death before cancer develops.
As I find more interesting findings, they will be reported in subsequent blogs.