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PHOM Indicator Profile Report of Lung Cancer Deaths

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.

Lung Cancer Deaths by Year, Utah and U.S., 1999-2017

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confidence limits

Data Sources

  • Utah Death Certificate Database, Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health
  • Population Estimates: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) through a collaborative agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau, IBIS Version 2017
  • U.S. Underlying Cause of Death Data: WONDER Online Database. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Accessed at []

Data Notes

Age-adjusted to U.S. 2000 standard population.[[br]]

Risk Factors

Cigarette smoking is the most important risk factor for lung cancer. Other risk factors include occupational exposures such as radon and asbestos and indoor and outdoor pollution, including environmental tobacco smoke.

How Are We Doing?

Utah's age-adjusted lung cancer mortality rate significantly decreased from 26.4 per 100,000 population in 2004 to 17.2 per 100,000 population in 2017. From 2013-2017 the lung cancer mortality rate ranged from a high of *45.2 per 100,000 population in the Magna Small Area to a low of 7.4 per 100,000 population in the Centerville Small Area (*interpret with caution, figure does not meet UDOH standards for reliability).

What Is Being Done?

Since nearly 90% of lung cancer deaths are attributed to smoking, public health programs aim to reduce lung cancer by focusing on tobacco prevention and control. Utah's statewide Tobacco Prevention and Control Program coordinates efforts to accomplish the following four goals: prevent youth from starting to use tobacco, help tobacco users quit, eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke, and 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.

Healthy People Objective: Reduce the lung cancer death rate

U.S. Target: 45.5 deaths per 100,000 population

Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 12/11/2018

Other Views

The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sat, 24 August 2019 21:44:12 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 20 Jun 2019 13:03:27 MDT