Environmental Facilities and Cancer Mapping

The New York State Environmental Facilities and Cancer Mapping project is designed to present information about cancer cases in the State as well as the location of environmental facilities. Cancer is a very common disease. One of every two men and one of every three women will be diagnosed with cancer at some time in their lives.

The Environmental Facilities and Cancer Map shows:

  • The number of people diagnosed with cancer (cancer counts, 2005-2009) in small geographic areas of New York State
  • Highlighted areas where cancer is higher or lower than expected
  • The locations of certain environmental facilities.

Links to more information about cancer and how to interpret cancer data are also provided.

Important Information

About Cancer Risk

Cancer risk is primarily based on individual risk factors. Research suggests that at least 40% of all cancers are due to lifestyle factors such as tobacco use, diet, physical inactivity, and alcohol use. Other important individual risk factors are age, workplace exposures, family history and personal medical history, including radiation exposure and infections. Individual risk factors affect people over their lifetimes, and when people move, they carry their individual risks with them.

Cancer is a very common disease. In New York State, one out of every two men, and one of every three women, will be diagnosed with cancer at some time in their lives.

There are actions you can take to reduce your risk of getting cancer. Changing your lifestyle by quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol use and exercising regularly may significantly reduce your risk. Additional information on reducing risk for specific types of cancer is available at Learn More About Different Types of Cancers.

Talk with your health care provider about recommended cancer screenings. Getting screening tests regularly may find certain cancers early, when treatment is likely to work best.

About Cancer Maps

The map cannot explain why cancer may be higher or lower in certain areas. It does not show that an environmental facility causes cancer.

  • The map does not contain any information about important known individual risk factors for cancer. These include factors such as tobacco use, alcohol use, family history, radiation exposure, medical history, workplace exposures, infections, diet, sunlight, and physical activity, which are known to play important roles in cancer.
  • The environmental facility information only shows the locations of facilities. It does not contain any information about whether chemicals are released from these facilities or the likelihood that people may have been exposed to any chemicals that could cause cancer.
  • The cancer information reflects people's addresses at the time of their cancer diagnoses. It is possible that people with cancer lived elsewhere before their diagnoses. This is important because cancer can take many years (5 to 40 years) to develop. This is referred to as cancer latency. People's exposures earlier in life, at a different address, may have contributed to their cancer. People also take their personal risk factors with them when they move from place to place.
  • The map shows only one five-year time period of cancer information. Experience with cancer mapping shows that changing the specific timeframe selected can change areas that are highlighted as higher or lower than expected.

Understanding the Map

View the Map

If you are not able to use the map, please try using the text-only address search to find the five-year cancer counts for a small geographic area.

More Information