Lung Cancer

Incidence Rate

The incidence rate for lung and bronchus cancer among Asian/Pacific Islanders (from 2002 to 2006) was 53.4 per 100,000 men and 28.1 per 100,000 women.

Mortality Rates

Mortality rates among Asian/Pacific Islanders were 36.9 per 100,000 men and 18.2 per 100,000 women. Both incidence and mortality rates were much higher in males. Both rates were lower in Asians compared with White or Black populations in the U.S. See the National Cancer Institute’s SEER Stat Fact Sheet for more information

Regional Variation

Lung cancer rates vary widely. The highest rates are in Chinese living in Hong Kong (Wang 2009) and Singapore, followed by mainland China, and then the US. Some of the difference in rates probably reflects the rate of smoking in the various areas. However, in many of these areas, women have a low prevalence of smoking. Wang (2009) conducted a population-based case-control study of 212 Hong Kong women diagnosed with primary lung cancer. All cases and controls were life time non-smokers. Results support the etiological link of lung cancer with preexisting lung disease, in particular, asthma, and family cancer history (any cancer).

Dyspnea

“Patients in this study found no Chinese words to adequately define and describe dyspnea and relied on sensations they experienced during the dyspnea episode.”

Lai et al. (2007) describe the experience of dyspnea and helpful interventions in Chinese patients with advanced lung cancer admitted in the palliative care unit in one region in Hong Kong. Eleven participants agreed to be interviewed in this qualitative study, with age ranging from 51 to 80 years. They have been diagnosed with lung cancer from 1 to 12 months, and all required oxygen therapy for dyspnea.

Patients in this study found no Chinese words to adequately define and describe dyspnea and relied on sensations they experienced during the dyspnea episode. The impact of dyspnea was multidimensional, and patients used various strategies to manage dyspnea, including avoiding triggers and utilizing traditional Chinese medicine.

Overall, health care professionals were perceived to play a very inadequate role in assisting patients with dyspnea, and participants suggested that they should take a more active role in educating and supporting patients with dyspnea.