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Lung Cancer

General Statistics

Leading Cause of Death

  • In Illinois, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death and is the third most common cancer
  • In Illinois, lung cancer incidence and mortality rates are higher in males than females
  • In Illinois, lung cancer incidence and mortality rates are highest in Black individuals

New Diagnoses (Incidence)

  • In the United States, the incidence of lung cancer has decreased from 67.4 per 100,000 in 2008 to 55.2 per 100,000 in 2017
  • In Illinois, the incidence of lung cancer has decreased from 72.1 per 100,000 in 2008 to 61.2 per 100,000 in 2017
  • In 2017, there were a total of 221,121 new lung cancer cases in the United States and a total of 9,429 new lung cancer cases in Illinois

Deaths (Mortality)

  • In the United States, mortality of lung cancer has decreased from 49.6 per 100,000 in 2008 to 36.7 per 100,000 in 2017
  • In Illinois, mortality from lung cancer has decreased from 52.2 per 100,000 in 2008 to 39.1 per 100,000 in 2017
  • In 2017, there were a total of 145,849 deaths from lung cancer in the United States and a total of 6,009 deaths from lung cancer in Illinois

Risk Factors

The primary risk factor for lung cancer is cigarette smoking. Other tobacco products, including cigars or pipes, also increase the risk for lung cancer. Other risk factors include:

  • Breathing in secondhand smoke from another person’s cigarette, pipe, or cigar
  • Exposure to radon (a naturally occurring gas from rocks and dirt that can get trapped in houses and buildings)
  • Workplace exposure to other substances, such as asbestos, arsenic, diesel exhaust, and some forms of silica and chromium
  • A personal or family history of lung cancer
  • Previous radiation therapy to the chest

Prevention and Early Detection

Screening for lung cancer is recommended for adults 50 to 80 years of age who have a 20 pack-a-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.

  • Only one recommended screening test is available:
    • A low dose computed tomography (LDCT) scan involves an X-ray machine that uses a low dose of radiation to make images of the lungs

Lifestyle factors that can lower a person’s risk for lung cancer include:

  • Not smoking
  • Avoiding secondhand smoke
  • Testing your home for radon
  • Protecting yourself from carcinogens at work
  • Choosing a healthy diet
  • Getting regular exercise

Lung Cancer Measures for Illinois

Cancer Measure Baseline (per 100,000) (2017) Target (per 100,000) (2025)

Incidence rate

61.2 52.9

Mortality rate

39.1 30.4

Lung Cancer Incidence and Mortality by Race and Ethnicity in Illinois (2017)

Race/Ethnicity Male and Female Incidence (per 100,000) Male and Female Mortality (per 100,000)

All Races/Ethnicities

61.2 39.1

White

61.8 39.3

Black

69.9 47.8

Hispanic

31.1 14.5

Asian/Pacific Islander

26.6 13.8

American Indian/Alaskan Native

Data not available Data not available
Race/Ethnicity Male Incidence (per 100,000) Female Incidence (per 100,000) Male Mortality (per 100,000) Female Mortality (per 100,000)

All Races

70.6 54.3 46.9 33.2

White

69.7 56.0 46.5 33.9

Black

90.2 56.9 62.1 38.3

White Non-Hispanic

73.3 58.9 49.0 36.1

Black Non-Hispanic

91.3 57.7 63.2 39.0

Hispanic (any race)

35.4 26.1 21.6 9.1

Asian/Other Races

37.3 16.6 Data not available Data not available

Other Races

Data not available Data not available 20.7 7.7

Lung Cancer – 20 Counties with Highest Incidence in Illinois (2013-2017)

Overall State Incidence

63.7

County Incidence (per 100,000)

Hardin

133.6

Pulaski

112.1

Brown

108.9

Franklin

108.3

Logan

106.7

Christian

99.4

Gallatin

97.8

Mason

97.2

De Witt

95.8

Macoupin

94.9

Macon

94.5

Johnson

94.5

Massac

93.9

Richland

93.7

Alexander

92.1

Putnam

91.7

Schuyler

90.6

Cass

90.2

Montgomery

89.5

Williamson

89.5