Histological trend of lung cancer in Harlem: A predominantly urban African American community

Yaw Ofori Abu, J. G. Ford, H. Gill, Y. Li, C. McCord

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Central Harlem, a predominantly African American community in New York City, has a significantly higher lung cancer incidence rate than the general U.S. African American population. As an initial step toward finding clues to possible etiologic factors for lung cancer in this population, we compared the trends in the histologic diagnosis of lung cancer in Harlem to the national trends. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of all cases of lung cancer recorded by the Harlem Tumor Registry between 1969 and 1988. Tissue samples for histologic or cytologic diagnosis were obtained either at bronchoscopy or at surgery. Diagnostic classification was based on the World Health Organization criteria. RESULTS: We identified 933 cases of lung cancer of which 770 had histological or cytological diagnoses. Between 1969-1971, the percentage distribution of the major histologic types were: Squamous-47.1%; Adenocarcinoma-29.4%; Small Cell carcinoma-10.3%; Large Cell carcinoma-4.4%; and others (unclassified)-8.8%. The histologic pattern between 1983-1987 were however as follows: Squamous-33.9%; Adenocarcinoma-33.9%: Small Cell carcinoma-17.2%; Large Cell carcinoma-8.2%; and others-6.8%. The majority of cases (54.2%) occurred in the 45-64 age group. 39.2% of cases occurred after age 65 years. CONCLUSION: The trend in histologic distribution of lung cancer in Harlem was similar to the national trend, with a relative increase in the frequency of Adenocarcinoma compared to Squamous Cell lung cancer. Further etiologic study is needed in this regard.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129S
Issue number4 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Oct 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Histological trend of lung cancer in Harlem: A predominantly urban African American community'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this