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Air pollution affects lung cancer survival
  1. Jaime E Hart1,2
  1. 1Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Exposure, Epidemiology, and Risk Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jaime E Hart, Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 401 Park Dr, Landmark Center 3rd Floor West, Boston, MA 02215, USA; Jaime.hart{at}

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Lung cancer is one of the most commonly occurring cancers in the USA. The American Cancer Society estimates that a total of 221 200 individuals were newly diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015, representing approximately 13% of all new cancer diagnoses.1 Worldwide, lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy. In their most recent report, WHO estimated that there were 1.8 million new lung cancer cases diagnosed in 2012.2

In addition to being one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers, survival from lung cancer is poor, making it the leading cause of cancer death in the USA.3 The 5-year lung cancer survival rate for cases diagnosed in 2011 was only 17.8%, with wide variations in survival rates by stage at diagnosis and specific histological subtype.4 The survival rate has only improved modestly in recent decades; the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) programme of the National Cancer Institute estimated that overall 5-year survival rates were 12.2% for cases diagnosed in 1975–1977, 13.0% for cases diagnosed in 1987–1989 and 14.6% for cases diagnosed in 1996–1998.4 Therefore, interventions or other strategies to increase survival are a source of consistent research, with a focus on lifestyle and treatment interventions.5 , …

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