Cancer in Texas

What is Cancer?

Cancer is a term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade other tissues. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. Cancer is not just one disease, but many diseases. There are more than 100 kinds of cancer.1

To learn more about cancer, please visit the “What is Cancer?” page on the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) website.

Cancer in Texas

Although we have taken significant steps to address the burden of cancer in Texas, it is still the second leading cause of death in our state, according to the Texas Cancer Plan. Almost every Texan, whether connected personally or through loved ones, has been affected by cancer.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates the following numbers of new cancer cases and cancer deaths for Texas in 2023:2 

  • Estimated new cases of cancer: 139,100
  • Estimated cancer deaths: 44,140

Breast, prostate, and lung cancer are the most common cancer types in Texas. They are also the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in Texas.

The two most common risk factors for cancer are tobacco use and being overweight or obese. In 2018, 70% of Texas adults were classified as overweight or obese, with Texas having the 10th highest rate of obesity in the United States.3 In 2018, 14% of Texas adults reported being current smokers, making Texas the state with the 40th highest rate of current smokers in the United States.

More information about cancer in Texas, including cancer rates and screening and risk factor prevalence, can be found at the following websites:

Texas Cancer Registry (TCR)

ACS Cancer Statistics Center

NCI State Cancer Profiles

1 Preventing Cancer (CDC). Accessed July 12, 2019.
2 ACS: Cancer Facts & Statistics. ACS | Cancer Facts & Statistics. Accessed May 10, 2023.
3 Overweight/Obesity-Associated Cancers. TCR | Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Accessed May 10, 2023.