Unveiling Florida’s Highest Cancer Rates: Check and Understand the Factors


The Florida Department of Health reports that Miami, Florida possesses the highest cancer rates in the state.

 Contrary to the Florida median of 431.2, the age-adjusted cancer prevalence rate per 100,000 individuals in the city is 470. 

In other words, compared to people in other parts of the state, residents of Miami have a higher risk of developing cancer.

Miami’s High Cancer Rates: Factors

High Number of Senior Citizens

Due to Miami’s appeal as a retirement destination, a sizable portion of the population is elderly. 

The percentage of people 65 and older in Miami-Dade County is 19.8%, higher than the national average of 16.5%, according to the 2020 US Census.

The city has a higher than average cancer incidence rate because aging is a major risk factor for the disease.

2. High Levels of Ecological Carcinogen Exposure

The Florida Department of Health reports that Miami, Florida possesses the highest cancer rates in the state.
  • Pollution of Air

Due to its location on a peninsula encircled by water, Miami is particularly susceptible to environmental contamination.

With some of the most polluted air in the country, the city may expose its citizens to substances that cause cancer, such as benzene, ozone, and particulate matter.

  • Pollution of Water

Arsenic, lead, as well as nitrates can contaminate Miami’s water supply, increasing the city’s residents’ risk of developing cancer.

  • Contamination of Soil

Miami may have higher than average cancer rates because of the presence of heavy metals, pesticides, along with herbicides in the soil.

3. Poor Lifestyle Choices

The high rates of obesity, smoking, and physical inactivity among Miami residents indicate that they lead unhealthy lifestyles.

Only 44.9% of residents in Florida engage in adequate physical activity, according to the Florida Department of Health, while 15.1% of people smoke and 28.5% of people are obese.

The chance of developing cancer is greatly increased by these lifestyle choices.

Additional Contributing Factors

  • Status Socioeconomic

Miami has higher cancer rates in part because people with low incomes are prone to reside in areas with high exposure to environmental carcinogens. The poverty rate in Miami-Dade County is 14.0%, which is higher than the state average of 11.6% in Florida.

  • Healthcare Accessibility

Access to high-quality healthcare is hampered by a high rate of without health insurance residents (18.4% in Miami-Dade County versus the Florida average of 12.8%). Lower cancer screenings and treatments could be the outcome of restricted access.

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