A new cancer atlas published yesterday reveals parts of the Midlands are 'hot spots' for various forms of the disease.
Urban areas like Birmingham, Coventry and Sandwell have recorded higher rates of cervical, lung and stomach cancer as well as cancer of the uterus.
The document, produced by the Office for National Statistics, identified geographic patterns of cancer cases and deaths across Britain.
And one of the authors believes the figures illustrate the benefits of not smoking and curtailing sexual promiscuity.
Mike Quinn, director of the National Cancer Intelligence Centre, said: "There is a wide variation in the incidence of cervical cancer in Britain, and the West Midlands has a much higher number of cases.
"Sexual behaviour patterns haven't changed much since the 1980s and if the screening programme had not been improved there would be a cervical cancer epidemic.
"Not only are women having their first sexual relationship at a younger age, they are also having more partners, therefore putting themselves at risk.
"In the West Midlands there is also a clear link with social deprivation, in areas such as Coventry and Sandwell, and also smoking which can also be a factor in cervical cancer."
The report, which looks at figures for 1991 to 1999, shows 12 in every 100,000 women in the region has cervical cancer - the fourth highest rate in Britain.
But it is thought the regions urban centres, including Birmingham and Coventry, have even higher rates.
The North-west recorded the most new cases during that period, with 13.8 per 100,000 are diagnosed with the disease.
Mr Quinn added that the geographical trend of high rates in urban areas was reversed in other cancer cases.
He said: "With cancer of the uterus, it is inverted because urban areas like Birmingham are ranked below the national average, while rural parts of the region, such as Herefordshire and Worcestershire, have more cases.
"This disparity between urban and rural areas is also highlighted in the West Midlands' lung cancer rate, although it's not as high as Newcastle, Manchester or Glasgow.
"But while the region has a low level of incidence, Birmingham and North Staffordshire are 'hot spots' for lung cancer, particularly in men."
Mr Quinn explained if people quit smoking, lung cancer could be significantly reduced in Britain as 90 per cent of cases are caused by smoking.
More than 42,000 people a year are diagnosed, but lung cancer rates could be cut to just 4,000 if the no smoking message was heeded.
He said: "If this report does anything it highlights the significant improvement we can make to the death rates if people stopped smoking.
"Essentially it is a preventable disease and so it should be possible to reduce the rates, it's not rocket science.
"Also it's important to point out places don't get cancer, people do. The reason areas have high rates of cancer is that people in them are exposed to the relative risk factors for those cancers."
A Department of Health spokesperson said: "This comprehensive data will help the NHS form a baseline against which the success of the NHS Cancer Plan can be measured.
"It is crucial that preventative actions to help people lead a healthy lifestyle are implemented first in those areas where prevalence of cancer is particularly high."
* To see the full report log on to www.statistics.gov.uk