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Cancer, Geography of

  • By: Rikke Baastrup & Jaymie R. Meliker
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Within the fields of medical geography and spatial epidemiology, a specific topic is the geography of cancer, which includes the study of spatial and temporal patterns of different types of cancer for purposes of surveillance, prevention, and etiologic inference.

Cancer Maps

Maps are important tools in the geographic study of cancer; however, when producing and interpreting cancer maps, it is essential to consider how cancer is measured and displayed. Incidence, mortality, survival, prevalence, and stage of diagnosis are common measures of cancer disease outcomes. Typically, these measures are presented as rates, standardized by population size, age, sex, and race, as a means of accounting for the underlying demographic differences between regions. Since cancers are relatively rare diseases, data are often grouped across many years to provide ...

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