WASHINGTON -- In recognition of World Cancer Day, the National Minority Quality Forum today launched the Lung Cancer Atlas (http://www.maplungcancer.com). This novel resource enables users to map lung cancer prevalence estimates and total counts at the zip-code level for the United States as well as for individual states, federal and state legislative districts. In addition to mapping lung cancer prevalence estimates overall, the atlas maps lung cancer by age, gender, and race/ethnicity.
Lung cancer is not only the leading cause of cancer-related deaths, but also disproportionately affects certain race/ethnic groups and geographical areas more than others. The Lung Cancer Atlas provides a compelling reference source for defining the disease at the community level. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supports the findings released in the atlas; namely, that the highest lung cancer prevalence rates are found in the South and Midwest.
"We are introducing the lung cancer atlas to assist health-care practitioners, policy makers, advocacy groups, and researchers not only to identify and quantify lung cancer by race/ethnicity, age, and gender, but also to help inform where preventive care, clinical trials, access to care, and educational support are needed most," stated Gary Puckrein, PhD, CEO of the National Minority Quality Forum.
Dr. Puckrein noted that "we are hopeful that having the tools to define lung cancer prevalence by population segment and by location will help to identify the underlying factors that may be promoting higher lung cancer rates, particularly among African Americans and other high risk groups. And while prevention is the best cure, targeted educational efforts may begin to reduce the variations we are seeing in lung cancer prevalence geographically."
The National Minority Quality Forum is a non-profit healthcare research and educational organization dedicated to the elimination of health disparities. The Forum supports national and local efforts to eliminate the disproportionate burden of premature death and preventable illness in racial and ethnic minorities and other special populations. The Forum has introduced user-friendly, web-based disease atlases to provide a unique two-dimensional view of various diseases, including cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and HIV/AIDS, by zip code. Users now have an unprecedented objective and reliable source of integrated data to validate the existence of health disparities.