According to the American Lung Association, incidence is the number of new lung cancer cases diagnosed each year. The rate of new lung cancer cases in New Jersey is 59.4, about the same as the national rate of 63.0, and ranks 16th among all states.
New Jersey is ranked in the top ten nationally for cancer incidence. Lung cancer and colorectal cancer are among the most prevalent in the state. The Maplewood Public Health Division is partnering with ScreenNJ - a collaborative project of organizations across the state committed to reducing cancer incidence and mortality through an effective cancer prevention and screening program.
As per ScreenNJ, lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in both men and women, often because it is detected too late. There are two things that they recommend:
- Low dose CT-Scans
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends yearly lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scans for people who:
Have a history of heavy smoking, i.e., history of “30 pack years” of smoking, where “pack years” is the number of packs smoked per day multiplied by the number of years smoked,
smoke now or have quit within the past 15 years, and
Are between 55 and 80 years old
2. Stop Smoking- Smoking Cessation
According to ScreenNJ, the most effective way to reduce lung cancer risk is to quit smoking. Because of the proven linkage between smoking and cancer, there is no single intervention more effective at reducing cancer mortality than tobacco cessation. Smokers who quit before age 40 reduce their chance of dying too early from smoking-related diseases such as cancer by about 90 percent. Those who quit by age 45–54 reduce their chance of dying too early by about two-thirds. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, quitting smoking is the single most important step a smoker can take to improve the length and quality of his or her life. As soon as you quit, your body begins to repair the damage caused by smoking.
You can learn more about how to quit smoking by contacting the Rutgers Tobacco Dependence Program at 732-235-8222 or http://njquitline.org/