By AP Medical Writer
updated 9/15/2011 12:13:53 PM ET 2011-09-15T16:13:53

The West is leading a national decline in the rate of new lung cancer cases, with states like California and Texas accounting for much of the improvement — particularly in women.

Health officials credit lower smoking rates in Western states.

Lung cancer has been declining in men for years, but the decline in women is much more recent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that lung cancer rates among women decreased 2 percent from 2006 to 2008, but dropped 4 percent out West.

There were not declines in female lung cancer rates in every state, however. Only six states saw significant drops — California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Texas and Florida. That was enough to pull down the national rate.

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