African-American Men had the highest rate of Lung Cancer in the United States according to 2012 statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An Infographic about Black Men and Lung Cancer from the CDC highlights this problem. Black Women had the second highest rate of Lung Cancer, trailing only White Women. Overall, Cancer was the second leading cause of death among African-Americans in the United States in 2013 according to the CDC.
Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer death and the second most diagnosed cancer in both men and women in the United States. In 2011, 14% of all cancer diagnoses and 27% of all cancer deaths were due to lung cancer. Jay Harold will use information from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to provide a brief overview of this terrible disease.
The lungs are a pair of cone-shaped breathing organs inside the chest. The lungs bring oxygen into the body when breathing in and send carbon dioxide out of the body when breathing out. Each lung has sections called lobes. Two tubes called bronchi lead from the trachea (windpipe) to the lungs.
The most important risk factor for Lung Cancer is smoking in all forms. (Cigarette, cigar and pipe smoking). Tobacco smoking causes about 9 out of 10 cases of lung cancer in men and about 8 out of 10 cases of lung cancer in women. Studies have shown that smoking low tar or low nicotine cigarettes do not lower the risk of lung cancer. People who smoke have about 20 times the risk of lung cancer compared to those who do not smoke.
The two main types of lung cancer are non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. The types are based on the way the cells look under a microscope. Non-small cell lung cancer is much more common than small cell lung cancer.
People with lower incomes and less education and certain racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to smoke, so they bear a bigger share of the disease burden caused by the tobacco use epidemic. Jay Harold has a post on the targeting of the black community by tobacco companies. The marketing of smoking in the African-American community apparently worked. Here’re some terrible stats:
- Percent of non-Hispanic black or African-American men 18 years and over who currently smoke cigarettes: 22.7% (2011-2013)
- Percent of non-Hispanic black or African-American women 18 years and over who currently smoke cigarettes: 15.2% (2011-2013)
Source: Health, United States, 2014, table 54[PDF – 9.8 MB]
Jay Harold has written several posts on Cancer. “Cancer: What You Need to Know,” and “Cancer: Diagnosis and Staging,” provide additional information about Cancer. In 2015, an estimated 1,658,370 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 589,430 people will die from the disease.
Finding trusted resources is critical in the fight against Cancer. The National Cancer Institute has provided information on finding health care services related to Cancer. Jay Harold has added a helpful video from the National Cancer Institute talking about Lung Cancer in the African American Community.
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