U.S. Cancer Mortality Rates and Trends 1950-1979 Volumes I-4

All four volumes of U.S. Cancer Mortality Rates and Trends, 1950-1979 are available at

Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, and Volume. 4 .

Wilson B. Riggan PhD, John Van Bruggen, John F. Aquavella, Phd, Jeff Beaubier PhD: Biometry Division, Health Effects Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park NC 27711 and

Thomas J. Mason, PhD; Chief, Population Studies Section, Environmental Epidemiology Section, National Cancer Institute Bethesda, MD 20205.

Originally published by NCI/EPA Interagency Agreement on Environmental Carcinogenesis.

US Cancer Mortality Rantes and Trends 1950-1979

The original edition of this book series was published in September, 1983 as EPA-600/1-83-015b. The premise was simple: a detailed list of rates major cancers for every county in the United States. The information had been obtained from the various state registries and then compiled by researchers at the National Cancer Institute. The authors then took the resulting data set and arranged it into book form. Shortly after the volumes were published, I received complimentary copies from one of the authors, Dr. Tom Mason. Several years later I learned that the Government's Printing Office no longer published the series--it had gone out of print. Worse, the few copies that had been available had seemingly vanished. I eventually decided to republish the series.

The data has a mainframe computer quality about it--the typeface is Courier. and instead of zeroes denoting zero rate (no cancers) there is only blank space. Additionally, counties showing no cancers for the three-decade time period (1950s, 60s and 70s) simply do not appear in the list at all. This, of course, makes the data difficult to convert to a digital record.

On the positive side, the information found in this series is far more precise than even the NCI's recent 2000 Cancer Atlas. Mason and his colleagues listed cancer rates by decades 1950-59, 60-69 and 70-79, while the NCI's 2000 effort includes only two categories: 1950-69 and 1970-94. Additionally, the 1983 Rates and Trends includes data showing percentage increase or decrease through the decades.

Anyone wishing to study the possible relationship between cancer and nuclear fallout (or any other environmental agent) should consider the 1983 Rates and Trends series.

Only two changes were made: (1) The original documents are in hardback, while these are paperback; and, (2) because of space limitations, some of the cancer rates in the original Volume III were moved to a new Volume IV.

Richard L. Miller CSP, CIH


February 17, 2006

Rates for all U.S. counties, 1950-59, 1960-69, 1970-79, for white male, white female, nonwhite male, nonwhite female. ICD codes are primarily from the ninth revision (1979). but a table is given comparing ICD codes from prior revisions. Standard population: 1970. Rates are mortality per 100,000. Both incident values and rates are given.

Volume. 1: ISBN 978-1-881043-22-5 Cancer rates: All cancers combined (ICD 140-208); lip (ICD 140); oral cavity and tongue (ICD 141, 143-146, 148); salivary gland (ICD 142); nasopharynx (ICD 147); esophagus (ICD 150); stomach (ICD 151); large intestine (ICD 153, 159); rectum (ICD 154, except 154.3); liver and gallbladder including bile ducts (ICD 155,156)

Volume. 2: ISBN 978-1-881043-23-2 Cancer rates: Nose, nasal cavities, middle ear and accessory sinuses (ICD 160); larynx (ICD 161); trachea, bronchus and lung including pleura and other respiratory sites (ICD 162, 163, 165); bone, including jaw (ICD 170); connective and soft tissue cancer (ICD 171, 164.1); malignant melanoma of skin (ICD 172); nonmelanoma skin cancer (ICD 173, 154.3); breast (ICD 174, 175); choriun and uterus (ICD 179, 181, 182); cervix uteri (ICD 180); ovary, fallopian tube and broad ligament (ICD 183); prostate (ICD 185); testes (ICD 186.)

Volume 3: ISBN 978-1-881043-25-6 Cancer rates: Eye (ICD 190); brain and other parts of the nervous sysetm (ICD 191, 192); thyroid gland (ICD 193); thymus and other endocrine glands (ICD 194, 164.0); lymphosarcoma and reticulum cell sarcoma including other lymphoma (ICD 200, 202, 159.1, 202.0, 202.1, 202.9, 202.9); Hodgkin's disease (ICD 201); multiple myeloma (ICD 203 except 203.1); leukemias (ICD 204-208, 202.4, 203.1); secondary, site unspecified, and not previously listed cancers (ICD 152, 158, 159.2-.9, 164.2-.9, 184, 187, 195-199, 202.2, 202.3, 202.5, 202.6.)

Volume 4: ISBN 978-1-881043-26-3: Cancer rates: Pancreas (ICD 157); bladder and other urinary organs (ICD 188, 189.3); kidney and ureter (ICD 189.3);

Four-Volume Set: ISBN 978-1-88104324-9

A complete list of our technical books on nuclear fallout is found here.