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Health Picture of Health

Fewer Americans are diagnosed with lung cancer

Americans are being diagnosed with fewer cases of lung cancer, the most deadly type of the disease, largely because of efforts to curb tobacco use, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The report comes during on the 50th anniversary of the first U.S. surgeon general's report linking smoking to lung cancer.

Though smoking has grown worldwide, the incidence of lung cancer in the United States went down 2.6 percent a year among men and 1.1 percent among women. That meant a drop to 78 from 87 cases per 100,000 for men and a decline to 54 from 57 cases for women.

Adults from 35 to 44 years old had the highest drop.

Data from the CDC also shows that Maryland has had fewer cases of lung cancer for years than the national average.

“These dramatic declines in the number of young adults with lung cancer show that tobacco prevention control programs work – when they are applied,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, in a statement.

Lung cancer is the top cancer killer and the second most commonly diagnosed cancer, and most cases can be traced to smoking or second-hand smoke, according to the CDC. 

Frieden said many lung cancer deaths are preventable, and he advocated for more tobacco control strategies and an increase in funding. He pointed to a CDC study that showed states appropriated just 2.4 percent of their tobacco revenues for tobacco control in 2010.

Another study showed state have had varying success in curbing smoking, though lung cancer cases decreased in all U.S. census regions and 23 states among men and in the South (which includes Maryland) and the West and seven states among women.

The CDC says effective strategies to further reduce smoking among adults and youths include increasing tobacco prices, smoking bans, restrictions on advertising and promotion and community engagement campaigns.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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