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cancer screening, health resources, lung cancer



  1. Somayaji, Darryl
  2. Seo, Young S.
  3. Wilding, Gregory E.
  4. Noyes, Ekaterina


Background: Screening for lung cancer is an evidence-based but underutilized measure to reduce the burden of lung cancer mortality. Lack of adequate data on geographic availability of lung cancer screening inhibits the ability of healthcare providers to help patients with decision-making and impedes equity-focused implementation of screening-supportive services.


Objectives: This analysis used data from the 2012-2016 Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and the county health ranking to examine (a) which cancer resources and county-level factors are associated with late-stage lung cancer at diagnosis and (b) associations between county rurality and lung cancer incidence/mortality rates.


Methods: Using the New York state SEER data, we identified 68,990 lung cancer patients aged 20-112 years; 48.3% had late-stage lung cancers, and the average lung cancer incidence and mortality rates were 70.7 and 46.2 per 100,000, respectively. There were 144 American College of Radiology-designated lung cancer screening centers and 376 Federally Qualified Health Centers identified in New York state. County rurality was associated with a higher proportion of late-stage lung cancers and higher lung cancer mortality rates.


Discussion: Visual geomapping showed the scarcity of rural counties' healthcare resources. County rurality is a significant factor in differences in lung cancer screening resources and patient outcomes. Use of publicly available data with geospatial methods provides ways to identify areas for improvement, populations at risk, and additional infrastructure needs.