Cancer

Girl and Older Woman

Cancer is any disease where uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells occurs in the body. Approximately four out of 10 men and women in the U.S. will develop cancer in their lifetime.

In Vermont each year, approximately 3,600 Vermonters are diagnosed and 1,300 die from some form of cancer. Cancer is now the leading cause of death for Vermonters. Our Comprehensive Cancer Control Program works with partners to reduce the burden of cancer in the state.

To see how we're doing in Vermont: Cancer Performance Scorecard

What causes cancer?

Cancer develops gradually as a result of many different factors related to lifestyle choices, environment and genetics. Anyone can develop cancer, including children. However, the risk of being diagnosed with cancer increases with age, and most cancers occur in adults who are older. Behaviors such as tobacco use, alcohol use, diet, physical inactivity, and overexposure to sunlight can increase the risk of developing certain cancers.

When cancer is found and treated early, a person’s chance for survival is much better. Screening tests, including those available for breast, cervical, colorectal, and lung cancers, help to detect cancer at an early stage when treatment works best.

The Vermont Cancer Plan

Vermont Cancer Plan The 2016-2020 Vermont Cancer Plan is Vermont’s roadmap for addressing cancer with the goals of preventing, detecting and treating cancer, as well as improving the lives of cancer surviors and their families.

The plan represents the work of the Vermont Department of Health's Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, Vermonters Taking Action Against Cancer and many other organizations and individuals throughout the state. Our goal is to reduce the burden of cancer in the state over the next five years.

Vermonters Taking Action Against Cancer

Vermonters Taking Action Against Cancer VTAAC is a growing coalition of organizations and individuals that speaks with one voice about reducing cancer risks, increasing early detection of cancer, increasing access to quality cancer treatment, and improving the quality of life for cancer survivors. The Vermont Cancer Plan guides the activities of the coalition, which are focused on reaching VTAAC’s ultimate goal: reducing the burden of cancer in Vermont. For more information about becoming a member of VTAAC, go to VTAAC.org 

Cancer Data and Statistics

The Health Department carries out surveillance to measure the burden of cancer in Vermont to help us and our many partners to effectively reduce the impact of cancer statewide.

A comprehensive collection of health data is used to monitor cancer in Vermont. The Vermont Cancer Registry, a statewide cancer surveillance system, collects information on all cases of cancer diagnosed and treated in Vermont. Other sources of data, such as population health surveys and vital records provide high-quality cancer reporting.

Find Vermont cancer data, reports and publications

In This Section

Cancer develops gradually as a result of many different factors related to lifestyle choices, environment and genetics. Anyone can develop cancer, but many cancers can be prevented.

Early detection of cancer in people without symptoms (also called screening) can help to find and treat cancer early, leading to better outcomes.

Once cancer is diagnosed, prompt and thorough medical treatment and complementary care are essential to prolonging a patient’s life, decreasing side effects and improving quality of life.

A cancer survivor is anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer, from the time of diagnosis through the rest of their life.

For more than 20 years, Ladies First has provided low-income, uninsured, and underserved women access to timely breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services.