The American Lung Association’s inaugural LUNG FORCE “State of Lung Cancer” report shows the toll lung cancer carries across the country.
“The American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative was created to help defeat lung cancer – the leading cause of cancer deaths,” said Jeff Seyler, Executive Vice President for the American Lung Association, Northeast Region. “[T]his new report outlines what we need to do to succeed – tackling both the disease and its risk factors as well as supporting access to preventative health services and treatment options.”
The LUNG FORCE “State of Lung Cancer” 2018 report finds that lung cancer diagnosis and survival rates vary state by state. It highlights that some states are yet to report on key lung cancer indicators. The report covers the following measures of lung cancer burden, and shows where New York ranks in comparison to the rest of the United States:
- Incidence: More than 234,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year, and the rate of new cases vary by state. New York ranks 21 out of 50 states and the District of Columbia with a lung cancer incidence of 62.2 per 100,000 people. There are a variety of risk factors associated with lung cancer, including smoking, exposure to radon gas, air pollution and secondhand smoke. Radon testing and mitigation, healthy air protections, and reducing the smoking rate through tobacco tax increases, smokefree air laws and access to comprehensive quit smoking services are all effective ways to prevent new lung cancer cases.
- Survival Rate: Lung cancer is often not caught at an early stage when it is more likely to be curable. New York State leads the nation with a five-year lung cancer survival rate of 24 percent, but the rate is as low as 15.9 percent in Louisiana. Only 31 states track this important metric, which should be implemented by all states to enhance monitoring of lung cancer, and help identify how to improve lung cancer survival.
- Stage at Diagnosis: People diagnosed at early stages of lung cancer are five times more likely to survive, but unfortunately only 18.9 percent of lung cancer cases nationally are diagnosed at an early stage. New York is ranked 4th in the nation, with 21.1 percent of lung cancer cases diagnosed at early stages, when it is most likely to be curable.
- Screening Centers: The availability of accredited lung cancer screening sites has been shown to be positively related to survival of lung cancer, with each additional screening site per million people being associated with a 0.3 percentage point increase in the lung cancer survival rate. New York ranks 21 out of 50 states and the District of Columbia, with 6.6 screening centers per million people. Raising awareness of these screening facilities, as well as criteria for low-dose CT scans, can improve patient outcomes.
- Surgical Treatment: Lung cancer is more likely to be curable if the tumor can be surgically removed, and surgery is more likely to be an option if the diagnosis is made at an early stage before the cancer has spread. In New York 26.3 percent of cases underwent surgery as part of the first course of treatment, ranking 3 out of 48 states and the District of Columbia. Quality healthcare and new treatment options for lung cancer are needed to increase survival rates.
The LUNG FORCE “State of Lung Cancer” report is a guide for policymakers, researchers, healthcare practitioners, patients, caregivers and others committed to ending lung cancer.
See the full report at Lung.org/solc.