November is recognized as Lung Cancer Awareness Month, bringing attention to this specific type of cancer through education and the sharing of personal experiences.
The World Health Organization stated in 2018 that lung cancer was one of the most common cancer diagnoses, second only to breast cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be about 228,820 new cases of lung cancer (116,300 in men and 112,520 in women) in 2020.
The Wisconsin Hospital Association Information Center (WHAIC) utilized data collected quarterly from hospitals to analyze lung cancer in Wisconsin. The data comes from the years 2017-2019 and includes inpatient visits only. The average patient diagnosis age is 69 years old, which is very similar to the national average (70 years old). From the WHAIC data, females were diagnosed with lung cancer more often than males. The number of lung cancer visits for each of the three years has roughly stayed around 1,900 visits per year.
Lung cancer in the United States is the leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women. Kentucky has the highest rate of new lung cancer cases out of all 50 states. Wisconsin is almost exactly in the middle of the pack, with the age-adjusted rate of new lung cancer at 56 per 100,000 people.
Common causes of lung cancer:
- Smoking: Roughly 80 percent of lung cancer deaths are due to smoking tobacco.
- Exposure to radon
- Secondhand smoke
- Air pollution
- Certain workplace exposure like to asbestos, exhaust and other harmful chemicals