Spatial and spatio-temporal clusters of lung cancer incidence by stage of disease in Michigan, United States 1985-2018

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Geospat Health


Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death in Michigan. Most patients are diagnosed at advanced stages of the disease. There is a need to detect clusters of lung cancer incidence over time, to generate new hypotheses about causation and identify high-risk areas for screening and treatment. The Michigan Cancer Surveillance database of individual lung cancer cases, 1985 to 2018 was used for this study. Spatial and spatiotemporal clusters of lung cancer and level of disease (localized, regional and distant) were detected using discrete Poisson spatial scan statistics at the zip code level over the study time period. The approach detected cancer clusters in cities such as Battle Creek, Sterling Heights and St. Clair County that occurred prior to year 2000 but not afterwards. In the northern area of the lower peninsula and the upper peninsula clusters of late-stage lung cancer emerged after year 2000. In Otter Lake Township and southwest Detroit, late-stage lung cancer clusters persisted. Public and patient education about lung cancer screening programs must remain a health priority in order to optimize lung cancer surveillance. Interventions should also involve programs such as telemedicine to reduce advanced stage disease in remote areas. In cities such as Detroit, residents often live near industry that emits air pollutants. Future research should therefore, continue to focus on the geography of lung cancer to uncover place-based risks and in response, the need for screening and health care services.

Medical Subject Headings

Humans; United States; Michigan; Incidence; Lung Neoplasms; Early Detection of Cancer; Geography; Spatio-Temporal Analysis

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