An updated and expanded analysis has revealed some new observations about patterns in lung cancer incidence in the United States, according to research published in Cancer.

Denise Riedel Lewis, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues analyzed data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program to assess trends in lung cancer incidence rates according to histologic type and demographic characteristics.

The researchers examined patterns for whites and blacks diagnosed with lung cancer from 1977 to 2010 and for white non-Hispanics, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and white Hispanics diagnosed with lung cancer from 1992 to 2010.

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The researchers found that since the 1990s, rates of squamous and small cell carcinoma have decreased, but less rapidly among women than men. For adenocarcinoma, incidence rates decreased among men and only through 2005; from 2006 to 2010, rates for adenocarcinoma increased for men and women and all racial/ethnic groups, while rates for unspecified type of carcinoma decreased.

Male-to-female rate ratios for lung cancer incidence decreased more among blacks and whites than other groups. Recent rates of incident lung cancer were higher among young females than males for adenocarcinoma, regardless of race/ethnicity, and for other specified carcinomas among whites.

“In summary, this analysis supports previous findings of the U.S. declining total lung cancer rates among males and stabilizing rates among females,” the authors write. “Lung carcinoma rates remain higher among males than females, although rates have been converging and there are emerging excesses of adenocarcinoma and other specified carcinomas among young women.”

  1. Lewis, Denise Riedel, PhD, MPH, et al. “US lung cancer trends by histologic type.” Cancer. DOI: 10.1002/cncr.28749. August 11, 2014