Concerning new data regarding lung cancer in Maine

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 6:32 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - A new report from the American Lung Association shows that Maine ranks high among new cases of lung cancer on a national level.

Higher rates of tobacco use and the prevalence of radon underground are the leading factors behind this figure.

The rate of new lung cancer cases in Maine is 69.7 out of 100,000 which is a concerning statistic given the national average is 54.6 out of 100,000.

On a positive note, the report shows that Mainers that do have lung cancer receive treatment for it at a higher rate than most other states.

”So Maine has one of the highest lung cancer rates in the country. We are well above the national average having the fourth highest incidents right in the country. So that is one of the pieces that we definitely need to work on. I think the bottom line is anyone with lungs can get lung cancer, but we do know some of the known risk factors of tobacco use and radon of which Maine both has rates higher than the national average,” said Lance Boucher, Asst. VP, State Public Policy, Eastern Division, American Lung Association

Breaking the habit of smoking, testing radon levels where you live, and reducing exposure to second-hand smoke are all ways you can reduce your chance of getting lung cancer.

As for radon, neighboring houses can have drastically different radon levels, so it is important to know the levels at your specific residence.