1. Cancer

  2. What’s the story?

    Although the number of cancer deaths has experienced a significant decline over the years, as the 2nd leading cause of death in New Jersey, our State, like all states, still witnesses the devastating toll of cancer. Nationally, one in two men and one in three women will get a cancer diagnosis in their lifetimes and more than 85% these diagnoses will occur in people age 50 and older. The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2018 53,260 New Jerseyans would be diagnosed with cancer and that more than 16,000 would die from the disease.

  3. By the Numbers

    Overall, cancer is the second leading cause of death in New Jersey. By age group, it is the leading cause of death among persons 45-79 years of age. Cancer is the second leading cause of death among Whites and Blacks, but is the leading cause of death among Hispanics and Asians.

    Four cancers - breast, lung, prostate, and colorectal - represent almost half of all new cancer diagnoses and nearly half of all cancer deaths in the state. In New Jersey, over 16,000 deaths each year are due to cancer.  Lung cancer is the leading cause of deaths due to cancer in New Jersey and in the nation as a whole. This is true for both males and females and for each racial/ethnic group. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of deaths due to cancer among women in New Jersey, claiming nearly 1,300 lives annually. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men and, in New Jersey, is the third leading cause of death due to cancer among men, following colorectal cancer.

  4. Our Strategy

    The New Jersey Department of Health and our partners recognize that each of these statistics represents a person’s life in our State and collaborated on a Comprehensive Chronic Disease Management Plan. Prevention, early detection, and treatment are the foundation to this Plan to combat cancer.

    The New Jersey Department of Health has developed strong collaborative efforts with our partners, including the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the American Cancer Society. Additionally, the Department helps to support efforts through the New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection Program (NJCEED) which provides comprehensive outreach, education, and screening services for breast, cervical, colorectal, and prostate cancers.

    There are four units responsible for the DOH cancer initiatives: Cancer Epidemiology Services, NJ Cancer Education and Early Detection Program (NJCEED), NJ Commission on Cancer Research, and the Office of Cancer Control and Prevention. Some of the activities related to these initiatives include:

    • the State Cancer Registry, which collects data on cancer incidence among New Jersey residents, generates cancer statistics, analyzes cancer trends, and conducts research activities;
    • outreach and screening services to low-income, uninsured, and underinsured residents of the state;
    • a commission to fund and promote innovative research into the causes, prevention, and treatment of cancer, and 
    • an office dedicated to implementing the NJ Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan by coordinating statewide and local activities designed to reduce the incidence, illness, and death due to cancer in New Jersey.
  5. Did you know?

    In the United States, about 90% of lung cancer deaths in men and almost 80% of lung cancer deaths in women are due to smoking.

  6. To Learn More


Progress Toward Goal

* Rate per 100,000 population

Only one year of data currently available

Exceeding Goal
At/Making progress toward Goal
Making less progress toward Goal than expected
Not progressing toward Goal
Negative progression toward Goal

Last Reviewed: 11/9/2018