In MN, 4 to 5 people out of 10 will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime. Tobacco is the single leading cause of cancer, and 30% of cancer-related deaths are from tobacco use. For more information on how to reduce cancer risk, refer to MDH.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in MN among men and women. When all cancers are combined into one group, cancer is the 7th most frequent chronic disease. Breast cancer accounted for 39.5% of the top ten cancers among MN women in 2019. In general, lung and bronchus cancer constitute the leading cause of cancer deaths, with the second highest rate of incidence but the number one death rate (source). For American Indian and Alaskan Native women, lung and bronchus cancer have the highest incidence and mortality rate in MN. Colon and rectum cancer have the 3rd highest incidence rate for Black women compared to the fourth highest for the general Minnesotan population (source).

Rate of Top Ten Cancers Among MN Women (source)

Cancer TypeAge-Adjusted Rate
Female Breast134
Lung and Bronchus47.6
Melanomas of the Skin32.6
Colon and Rectum29.7
Corpus and Uterus, NOS29.0
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma16.2
Kidney and Renal Pelvis11.6

Per 100,000 women

Top Ten Cancers by Mortality Rate Among MN Women

Cancer TypeAge-Adjusted Rate
Lung and Bronchus26.3
Female Breast17.3
Colon and Rectum9.0
Corpus and Uterus, NOS5.0
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma4.0
Liver and Intrahepatic Bile Duct3.9
Brain and Other Nervous System3.6

Per 100,000 women

Mortality Rate/Type of Cancer (source)

In general, lung and bronchus cancer have the highest burden. According to Lauby-Secretan et al, “12 cancer types were chosen on the basis of their association with obesity according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer: colorectal, oesophageal (adenocarcinoma), gallbladder, gastric cardia, kidney, liver and intrahepatic bile duct, multiple myeloma, pancreatic and thyroid cancer, and, in women, uterine corpus (including endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma), breast and ovarian cancer. Meningioma is related to obesity, but was excluded because of its rarity in young adults based on the number of cases from the registries.” (Lauby-Secretan B, Scoccianti C, Loomis D, et al. Body fatness and cancer—viewpoint of the IARC working group. N Engl J Med 2016; 375: 794–98.)See other sources here (CDC) and here (state of MN)

Extra sources: The CDC has an excellent source to explore data on cancers in MN. The CDC and MDH breakdown data by cancer type, sex, and age.