The State Cancer Profiles website and mapping tool, created by the National Cancer Institute, is a wonderful resource that allows you to search cancer rates by area, type of cancer, rate of occurence (incidence), death (mortality), race, gender, and age.
Below is an example of a map created with the State Cancer Profiles tool, showing all incidences of all types of cancer among women in North Carolina, by county, for the last full 5 years for which data is available (2009-2013).
Note: This is “incidence” (frequency), not “mortality” (death), which is another variable you can utilize on the site.
The areas in red, orange and yellow are well above the national average – red shows that women in those counties have almost twice the chance of getting breast cancer as those from blue counties.
You can take this data, produce a map of it right from the website, and compare it to other maps (like the TOXMAP – Toxic Release Inventory elsewhere on this website) to see if there is reason to suspect that pollution from one source is causing a higher than normal amount of cancer in that area.
If you suspect that pollution may be causing the problem, you can go to the menu at the top of this page labeled “Borrow Tools Here” and locate the tool you will need to collect samples.