Cancer Burden in South Dakota

The SD Department of Health has two excellent tools available online to find specific cancer information in South Dakota. For information on the cancer burden within a specific county, the South Dakota Cancer Incidence & Mortality tool provided by the SD Cancer Registry allows for quick cancer data comparisons by county. In addition, the Data Query System provides users with a searchable database to gather statistics related to births, deaths, abortion and cancer events. See image below for an example of what is created by the SD Cancer Incidence & Mortality tool.

SD Cancer Incidence & Mortality Tool

Cancer Incidence and Mortality Among South Dakotans, 2013

This report summarizes the burden of cancer in South Dakota and includes cancer incidence and mortality data. The data will enable the many organizations working with cancer prevention and control to identify public health problems, target goals for cancer control, and to inform citizens and health care professionals about risks, early detection, and treatment.

Click the image to see the full report

Incidence 2013

  • 4,417 South Dakotans were diagnosed with invasive, reportable cases of cancer, which excludes the less life-threatening cancers such as in situ cancers (except in situ bladder cases) and the common skin cancers.
  • Each day 12 cases of cancer are diagnosed in residents of South Dakota; this includes only cases of invasive cancer and in situ bladder.
  • The five most diagnosed cancer sites (female breast, lung, prostate, colorectal, melanoma) accounted for 55% of all cancer cases.
  • Female breast cancer was the most common reportable malignancy with 715 cases among women, accounting for 16.2% of all cases and 31.7% of cases for women.
  • Lung cancer was the second most common reportable malignancy with 539 cases, 12.9% of all cases.
  • Prostate cancer was the third most common reportable cancer with 508 cases, 11.5% of all cases and 23.5% of cases for men.
  • Colon and rectal cancers were the fourth most common malignancy with 413 cases, 9.4% of all cases.
  • Melanoma cancers were the fifth most common malignancy with 202 cases, 4.6% of all reported cases.
  • 49% of all new cancers were diagnosed in males and 51% were in females.
  • Males had an age-adjusted incidence rate of 462.5 per 100,000, which was higher than females who had an age-adjusted rate of 446.6 per 100,000.
  • Whites accounted for 93.9% of cancer cases with 4,149 cases whereas American Indians were 5.0% with 222 cases.
  • The American Indian age-adjusted incidence rate was 496.1, which is higher than the age-adjusted rate among whites of 455.8.
  • The South Dakota age-adjusted incidence rate for 2013 was 450.0, significantly higher than the US SEER 2013 age-adjusted incidence rate of 431.7 per 100,000 persons.

Mortality 2013

  • Overall, cancer was the second leading cause of death in South Dakota.
  • In 2013, 1,574 South Dakotans died from cancer, accounting for one in every four deaths in South Dakota.
  • Each day four South Dakotans died from cancer.
  • The five cancer sites (lung, colorectal, pancreas, female breast, leukemia) caused 56.4% of all cancer deaths.
  • Lung and bronchus cancers were the leading cause of cancer deaths at 416 deaths or 26.4% of all cancer deaths. Lung and bronchus cancers caused one in four deaths due to cancer.
  • Colorectal cancer was the second leading cause of cancer deaths with 166 deaths, 10.5% of all cancer deaths.
  • Pancreatic cancer was the third leading cause of death with 109 deaths, 6.9% of all cancer deaths.
  • Female breast cancer was the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths with 108 deaths, 6.9% of all cancer deaths and 14.7% of all female cancer deaths.
  • Leukemia cancer was the fifth leading cause of death with 89 deaths, 5.7% of all cancer deaths.
  • Over half, 53%, of all cancer deaths were males and 47% were females.
  • Males had an age-adjusted death rate of 184.3 per 100,000 males, 42.1% higher than females with an age-adjusted rate of 129.7 deaths per 100,000 females.
  • Whites accounted for 92.8% of deaths with 1,461 deaths, whereas American Indians were 5.7% with 91 deaths.
  • The American Indian age-adjusted death rate was 240.9 which is 59.2% significantly higher than the rate among whites at the age-adjusted death rate of 151.3.
  • South Dakota’s age-adjusted death rate for 2013 was 153.7, significantly lower than the US SEER 2013 rate of 163.0


  • For the last decade, female breast cancer mortality rates have remained steady.

Updated May 2016