COE catchment

A “catchment area” is a geographic area that a cancer center expects to serve through clinical services, research, community engagement, and outreach. Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center’s catchment area includes the entire state of Iowa. Holden is the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center in Iowa. Patients from every county in the state come to Holden to receive cancer care.

Providing cancer care and outreach to rural residents is a big part of Holden’s services. Approximately 39.4% of Iowa’s 3.2 million residents live in a rural county. Iowa has a higher overall cancer rate in its rural population. In addition, while the overall cancer rate in urban areas has declined 3.8% in the most recent 10 years of data, the rate in rural areas has increased by 0.6%.

Further, among the 50 states, Iowa has the 18th highest proportion of population over 65 years of age (18%) and that proportion is higher in rural areas. This is important because age is the leading risk factor for cancer – meaning that cancer is more common among those aged over 65 years.

The racial and ethnic composition of the population is also important in terms of cancer rates. For example, Iowa is experiencing rapid domestic immigration and foreign migration. Minority populations in Iowa are younger on average than the white population and have an overall lower cancer burden. We also need to be aware of cancer disparities – populations that are more affected by cancer. For example, Black Iowans have higher mortality rates than White Iowans for several common cancers. Understanding cancer disparities is the first step to being able to address these health inequities.

Catchment Area Data

HCCC strives to understand how cancer impacts Iowans using different kinds of data (cancer rates, health-promoting behaviors, cancer screening, interview data with community partners), as well as input from its Community Advisory Board. Below you will find a list of tools, resources, and reports that will help you better understand cancer across the state of Iowa.

Cancer in Iowa Reports

Each year, the Iowa Cancer Registry creates a report with information on the top 10 cancers for males and females in Iowa. Each year, in-depth information on a selected type of cancer or topic is also provided.

Cancer in Iowa Spotlight Series

Using input and feedback from HCCC researchers, the Iowa Cancer Registry has created a series of infographics that provide data, risk factors, prevention tips, and an overview of cancers and cancer-related topics that are impacting Iowans.

Interactive Iowa Data Tools

The Iowa Cancer Registry houses several interactive mapping tools with Iowa-specific cancer data. Please review the details below to determine which tool will best suit your data needs.

County-level Cancer Rates

This interactive Iowa cancer data tool allows users to compute case counts, incidence and mortality rates for specific cancer sites by year of diagnosis, age, gender, race and county. Data can be displayed in tabular form, or depicted in maps or bar charts. The tool was developed by the Kentucky Cancer Registry and is updated annually.

ZIP Code Level Cancer Maps

The Zip Code Level Cancer Maps were created through a partnership among the Iowa Cancer Registry, the Center for Public Health Statistics at the University of Iowa, the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa Cancer Consortium. The maps were designed to help illustrate areas of the state where risk for developing or dying from certain cancers is higher than the state average for selected cancers. These maps illustrate areas of the state where risk for developing or dying from certain cancers is higher than average for selected cancers. You should use this resource if you are interested in cancer risk at the ZIP-code level, or if you’re interested in identifying locations in Iowa where risk of certain cancers is higher.

Iowa Cancer Zones Map

This interactive mapping tool helps one examine cancer incidence and population demographics by zones. The Iowa Cancer Registry identified 48 cancer zones throughout Iowa that combine and/or split counties in meaningful ways for Iowans. For example, some rural counties (where rates would typically be censored due to small counts) have been grouped together in one zone, whereas many of our urban areas have been assigned to their own zone. With these zones the Iowa Cancer Registry aims to provide data for geographies beyond county-level statistics to better serve cancer control, public health, and policy efforts. Zones have been designed so that they have a minimum population of 50,000 residents, have similar demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, and are geographically compact.

Iowa Cancer Plan

The Iowa Cancer Plan brings Iowans together to reduce the burden of cancer in Iowa. Created by experts and Iowans across the state, including a number of HCCC researchers and clinicians, the Iowa Cancer Plan includes five chapters focused on cancer as it relates to: Health Equity, Prevention and Risk Reduction, Early Detection and Screening, Diagnosis and Cancer-Directed Therapy, and Survivorship and End-of-Life Care. Each chapter provides concrete ways that partners can work together to lower cancer rates in Iowa.

You can learn more about the Iowa Cancer Consortium and how you can use the Iowa Cancer Plan as a tool for your research in this Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center Grand Rounds presentation.

Iowa Cancer Plan Stories

The Iowa Cancer Consortium has produced several short videos that describe the experiences of Iowa cancer survivors.

Population Sub-Group Reports

The COE team has created the reports below, which present a comprehensive analysis of the cancer burden, and strategies to address that burden, among selected population groups that may experience excess cancer burden.

Fall 2023: Rural

Other Reports

Iowa Counties Health Study 2020: The purpose of the Iowa Counties Health Study 2020 was to 1) assess perceptions, health behaviors, and disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on cancer prevention and control and 2) examine differences between rural and urban respondents in Iowa. The linked report describes the study methods and provides a table of results.