DefinitionThe rate of lung cancer incidence in Utah per 100,000 population.
NumeratorThe number of incidents of lung cancer among Utah residents for a given time period (ICD-10: C33-C34).
DenominatorThe population of Utah or U.S. for a specific time period.
Why Is This Important?Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in Utah and the U.S. Because symptoms often do not appear until the disease is advanced, early detection of this cancer is difficult.
Cigarette smoking is the single most important risk factor for lung cancer. There are more than 80 carcinogens in cigarette smoke. Other risk factors include occupational or environmental exposure to secondhand smoke, radon, asbestos (particularly among smokers), certain metals (chromium, cadmium, arsenic), some organic chemicals, radiation, air pollution, and a medical history of tuberculosis. Genetic susceptibility plays a contributing role in the development of lung cancer, especially in those who develop the disease at a younger age.
How Are We Doing?In 2017, the Utah lung cancer incidence rate was 24.98 cases per 100,000 people. This rate has not changed much since 2000.
Lung cancer incidence increases with age, especially over the age of 65. Men over the age of 65 are diagnosed with lung cancer at significantly higher rates (174.1 cases per 100,000 men) than women of the same age group (119.6 cases per 100,000 women).
Geographically, lung cancer incidence rates range from a low of 16.1 cases per 100,000 people in Utah County LHD to a high of 38.4 cases per 100,000 people in TriCounty LHD (see County and Small Area views for additional information on lung cancer incidence by geography).
For combined data years 2014-2016, there was no significant difference in lung cancer incidence rates between Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Utahns. However, those who racially identify as Black or African American had significantly higher lung cancer incidence rates (58.5 cases per 100,000 persons) compared to the overall state rate (25.7 cases per 100,000 persons) for the same time period.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?The lung cancer incidence rate in Utah is approximately half the U.S. rate. In 2016 (the most recent national data available), the U.S. lung cancer incidence rate was 56 lung cancer cases per 100,000 people compared to the Utah rate of 25.6 cases per 100,000 people.
What Is Being Done?Since nearly 90% of lung cancer deaths can be attributed to smoking, public health programs to reduce lung cancer focus on tobacco prevention and control. Utah's statewide Tobacco Prevention and Control Program coordinates efforts to accomplish the following four goals: to prevent youth from starting to use tobacco, to help tobacco users quit, to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke, and to reduce tobacco-related disparities.
In addition, the Utah Department of Health initiated the Utah Cancer Action Network (UCAN), a statewide partnership whose goal is to reduce the burden of cancer. The mission of the UCAN is to lower cancer incidence and mortality in Utah through collaborative efforts directed toward cancer prevention and control. As a result of this planning process, objectives and strategies have been developed by community partners regarding the early detection of cervical, breast, and colorectal cancers as well as the promotion of physical activity, healthy eating habits, melanoma cancer prevention and cancer survivorship advocacy.
Health Program InformationFree services that assist smokers with quitting include the Utah Tobacco Quit Line (1-888-567-TRUTH), a web-based cessation service ([http://www.utahquitnet.com www.utahquitnet.com]), and school- and community-based quit programs for teens, adults, and pregnant women.