The Highest Rates of Brain Cancer Diagnoses Are Found in These American States

It’s unfortunate, but it’s true — cancer is a part of life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate nearly 23 million adults have battled cancer at some point in their lives. Any cancer diagnosis is scary, but brain cancer is truly frightening. It can be one of the most painful forms of cancer since it can cause headaches, neural pain, and other ailments, and it’s also one of the most fatal types of cancer. Luckily, we have the medical technology to find cancer and treat patients, and doctors make the most brain cancer diagnoses per capita in these American states.

If you live in one of these states, it doesn’t mean you’re more like to develop brain cancer. It’s just that doctors there make a larger number of diagnoses than their colleagues in other states. Having more or fewer doctors per capita doesn’t make much of a difference. The state at No. 3 has more doctors per 100,000 people than almost any other, while the location at No. 1 has fewer than all but one other state.

12. Ohio (TIE)

Doctor and patient brain cancer

Doctors in some states make more brain cancer diagnoses than their colleagues. | Gpointstudio/iStock/Getty Images

Rate of diagnosis per capita: 6.9

As we mentioned a minute ago, living in a specific area doesn’t necessarily increase your brain cancer risk, but it can make a difference in your diagnosis. The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio is consistently one of the best hospitals in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report, and it’s also one of the best at diagnosing and treating cancer. The Buckeye State’s 6.9 brain cancer diagnoses per 100,000 people translate to 886 cases, per CDC data.

Next: A quick lesson as we head across the country

12. Oregon (TIE)

Portland, Oregon

Oregon has a high rate of brain cancer diagnoses. | Png-Studio/iStock/Getty Images

Rate of diagnosis per capita: 6.9

Like Ohio, the state we just visited, Oregon doctors diagnose brain cancer at a rate of 6.9 per 100,000 people. Medical professionals make the final call when it comes to cancer, but it helps if you know what to look for before you go to the doctor. Fatigue, appetite loss, unexpected weight gain or weight loss, and changes in your fingernails are all early warning signs of cancer, and if you see any of them, you should make an appointment with the doctor.

Next: Take the good with the bad in our next state.

12. Montana (TIE)

Aerial view of Main Street in Bozeman Montana

Bozeman and the rest of Montana see a lot of brain cancer cases. | DianeBentleyRaymond/iStock/Getty Images

Rate of diagnosis per capita: 6.9

You have to take the good with the bad in Montana. The bad? It’s one of the worst states to make a living since it has one of the lowest median incomes. On the other hand, doctors excel at diagnosing brain cancer there, which is actually a good thing since it lets patients start treatment as soon as possible.

Next: Top hospitals assist in the cancer fight.

12. Pennsylvania (TIE)

Older at doctor

Pennsylvania has some of the best hospitals to treat cancer. | Monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Rate of diagnosis per capita: 6.9

Like neighboring Ohio, Pennsylvania also has some of the top hospitals in the country, per U.S. News & World Report. The top-notch doctors and healthcare facilities assist in the fight against brain cancer, which reveals itself through its symptoms. Colon, stomach, and liver cancers, on the other hand, are among the forms of cancer that often show no signs or symptoms.

Next: There’s a silver lining in our next state.

10. New Hampshire (TIE)

Registered nurse Autumn Small adjusts an IV drip machine for an eighteen-year-old cancer patient

New Hampshire’s brain cancer rate is high, but the number of cases isn’t. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Rate of diagnosis per capita: 7.0

New Hampshire’s rate of brain cancer diagnosis is one of the highest in the country, but there’s a nice silver lining. That rate translates to 107 cases, which is one of the lowest figures in the United States. It also has more doctors per capita than all but a handful of states, so getting treatment is a little bit easier.

Next: Double whammy

10. West Virginia (TIE)

X ray film

West Virginia is one of the worst places for quality healthcare. | Rawpixel/iStock/Getty Images

Rate of diagnosis per capita: 7.0

It’s a double whammy in West Virginia when it comes to brain cancer diagnoses. Like neighboring Ohio and Pennsylvania, it has one of the highest rates in America. The other blow comes in the fact that, unlike its northern neighbors, West Virginia is one of the worst states to live in if you want decent health care.

Next: Good treatment isn’t hard to find in our next location.

8. Utah (TIE)

Older Blood Pressure measurement

Utah has a high brain cancer rate, but it also has quality hospitals for patients. | Monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Rate of diagnosis per capita: 7.1

Utah has some of the best places to live in the U.S., as well as two of the top retirement cities, but it also has one of the highest brain cancer rates in the country. The 7.1 diagnoses per 100,000 people translate to nearly 200 cases across the state. The upshot is Utah as some award-winning cancer treatment centers in its backyard.

Next: Add brain cancer to the list of negative.

8. Alaska (TIE)

Patient lying on bed

A high brain cancer rate is one of the negatives of living in Alaska. | Ridofranz/iStock/Getty Images

Rate of diagnosis per capita: 7.1

Natural beauty, the Alaska Permanent Fund, and your chance of living in a millionaire household are positives in Alaska, but there are some downsides. Based on crime statistics, the state is one of the most dangerous states in America. It also has a ton of missing person cases and registered sex offenders. Add brain cancer to the list of negatives, as Alaska has one of the highest diagnosis rates in America.

Next: Even the healthiest states aren’t spared from brain cancer.

6. Connecticut (TIE)

Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford,

Being one of the healthiest states doesn’t spare Connecticut. | SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images

Rate of diagnosis per capita: 7.2

The northeast generally has some of the healthiest states in America, including Connecticut. Yet the Nutmeg State still has one of the highest rates of brain cancer in the United States, which just goes to show that even the healthiest states are spared from terrible diseases.

Next: High rate, low number

6. Wyoming (TIE)

Wyoming State highway

Wyoming’s small population bumps up the rate of brain cancer diagnoses. | robertcicchetti/Getty Images

Rate of diagnosis per capita: 7.2

Like Connecticut, the state we just visited, Wyoming sees 7.2 people per 100,000 receive brain cancer diagnoses. The rate is one of the highest in the country, but the number of cases is one of lowest. Wyoming’s 45 cases rank No. 49 among the states and Washington, D.C., but since it’s the least populous state, it’s rate is high.

Next: The news isn’t good at our next stop.

4. Kentucky (TIE)

A nurse is working in a room where patients undergo chemotherapy treatment

All forms of cancer, including brain cancer, are an issue in Kentucky. | Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

Rate of diagnosis per capita: 7.6

Bad news, Kentucky. Not only is your rate of brain cancer one of the highest, but you’re one of the most cancerous states in America. The Bluegrass State has the highest rate of diagnosis for all cancers, and it also has the largest rate of cancer deaths.

Next: We’re staying up north the rest of the way.

4. Minnesota (TIE)

Cancer woman

Minnesota has the best cancer hospital in the U.S. | KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images

Rate of diagnosis per capita: 7.6

It’s not only brain cancer that is diagnosed more often in Minnesota than other states. The Land of 10,000 Lakes also has out of control skin cancer cases. But if you have to battle cancer, Minnesota is the place to do it. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester is the best hospital in the country, and No. 1 for cancer treatment, too, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Next: You’ll have no problem finding a doctor in our next state.

3. Maine

Doctor Giving Male Patient Injection

There are a lot of doctors to choose from in Maine. | monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Rate of diagnosis per capita: 7.7

The bad news in Maine is that its brain cancer diagnosis rate is third-highest in the United States. It’s also one of the states where leukemia is diagnosed more often. The good news is you won’t have a problem finding a doctor to help you fight your cancer. Maine has 324.5 doctors per 100,000 people, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, which is one of the highest figures in the country and well above the national median of 257.6.

Next: Another slight increase on our way to No. 1.

2. Washington

x-ray images of brain

Washington has a high rate and a high number of brain cancer cases. | Source: iStock

Rate of diagnosis per capita: 7.8

No matter how you slice it, Washington has more brain cancer diagnoses than nearly any other state in America. It’s 7.8 per capita is No. 2, and its 597 cases are also among the highest in the country. For Washingtonians, or anyone else, hoping to avoid a cancer diagnosis, there are a few things doctors recommend doing to decrease your risk.

Next: Far and away No. 1 on the list.

1. Idaho

Medical Failure

Idaho leads the way in brain cancer diagnoses. | NanoStockk/Getty Images

Rate of diagnosis per capita: 8.8

When you take a quick look at the CDC data and see Idaho has a modest 155 brain cancer cases, it doesn’t look so bad. But when you consider that number is roughly one-tenth as many as Texas, which has 16 times the population, you see how bad Idaho has it.

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