I used Microsoft Excel to analyze childhood cancer data from the National Program of Cancer Registries (2005-2009 Incidence).
I looked for demographic trends where the percentage of children of certain races with cancer in a given state exceeded the percentage of that race’s state population.
I used Microsoft MapPoint to visualize the aforementioned trend, and noticed that several Southern states (Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee) had a higher percentage of African-American children with cancer than the percentage of African-Americans in those states.
I also noticed that this trend was prevalent in Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Good data analysis does not always provide answers, but it does always suggest essential questions – in this case, what factors contribute to this trend in the non-southern states (Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania)?