Louisiana has the 14th highest incidence and 8th highest death (mortality) rate of lung cancer in the U.S. (Figure 1 & Figure 2). 

It is the most deadly cancer in Louisiana, causing almost 1/3 of the state's cancer deaths. And it is almost entirely preventable, with the vast majority of lung cancers caused by tobacco.

Figure 1: Click to enlarge

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Louisiana’s lung cancer incidence and mortality rates are statistically significantly higher than the rest of the country: In 2011-2015:   

  • 68.8 people per 100,000 were diagnosed with lung cancer, while the national average was 54.6 per 100,000.

  • An average of 53.6 Louisiana residents per 100,000 died each year from this disease, while the national average was 43.4 deaths per 100,000.

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Central and northeast Louisiana, followed by Acadiana, have the highest lung cancer death rates in the state (Figure 3 & Figure 4).

Lung cancer is an equal-opportunity killer, with Louisiana white men, white women, and black men having significantly higher lung cancer incidence and death rates than the rest of the country (Figure 5 & Figure 6).

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Lung cancer is one of the more expensive cancers to treat. That means people pay higher health insurance premiums, as well as taxes. It is estimated that in Louisiana, almost $2 billion in public dollars are spent on tobacco-related disease and death.

These estimated and projected costs of care by age, gender and phase of care (per patient) through the year 2020. They were calculated separately for multiple cancer sites using the most recent available U.S. population projections, cancer incidence, survival, and cost of care data (Figure 7).1

Figure 7: Click to enlarge

Tobacco-related cancers take a huge toll on Louisiana with those cancers accounting for almost half of all cancers diagnosed.

And that is true for white men, white women, black men and black women here (Figure 8 & Figure 9). 


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More information on cancer incidence and mortality is available from the Louisiana Tumor Registry (http://sph.lsuhsc.edu/data-use). Statistics other than what this site offers can be requested using the form on the Louisiana Tumor Registry website.

1. National Cancer Institute. Cancer Prevalence and Cost of Care Projections.