Detroit is America's Lung Cancer Capital

Non small cell lung cancer in Detroit was near the top for deaths across all ethnicities

(RxWiki News) Detroit is known as the 'Motor City,' 'Motown' or 'Hockeytown.' It may soon get another unfortunate distinction when it comes to lung cancer.

Researchers from the McLaren Regional Medical Center used lung cancer data from national databases and compared Detroit to other cities and states. Researchers found that Detroit ranked near the top for lung cancer deaths and reported cases.

"If you smoke or have a family history of lung cancer, consult a physician."

Researchers used data the National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program collected from 1973 to 2007. Researchers compared Detroit to other cities and States based  on deaths and ethnicity.

According to SEER, there were 105,522 cases of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and 3,094,764 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer and develops slower than SCLC. 

Detroit was near the top for deaths across all ethnicities.

In all ethnicities, only Iowa had more SCLC and NSCLC incidents than Detroit. For white SCLC patients, Utah and most of California had more deaths while Atlanta, Seattle, Hawaii, Connecticut, San Jose Monterey, Iowa, Kentucky and New Jersey had less deaths. There was no significant difference in survival rates between non-whites and other minority groups for SCLC deaths.

For white NSCLC patients, only Kentucky, Louisiana and rural Georgia had more deaths than Detroit.  In black NSCLC patients, only Iowa had more deaths than Detroit. For non-white and non-black NSCLC, only Alaska had more deaths.

For researchers, this data is important because it can show problems with health care access and when the cancer was diagnosed. With these statistics, researchers and public health efforts in Detroit can raise awareness about possible cancer screenings and treatment or provide affordable screening options.

These results were presented at the CHEST 2011, the 77th annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Research is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Review Date: 
October 24, 2011