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 probably 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?Since 1999, the age-adjusted rate of lung cancer incidence in the state of Utah has seen little fluctuation from year to year, reaching a low of 25.5 per 100,000 population in 2008.
Between 2012 and 2014 Southeast Health District had the highest rate of lung cancer at 41.1 per 100,000 population and Bear River Health District had the lowest lung cancer incidence rate at 15.2 per 100,000 population.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?The lung cancer incidence rate in Utah is approximately half the U.S. rate. In 2013 (the most recent national data available) the U.S. lung cancer incidence rate was 59.4 per 100,000 population compared to the Utah rate of 26.4 per 100,000 population.
What Is Being Done?Since nearly 90% of lung cancer deaths are 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.