Report: Lung cancer deaths down, but screenings could make the numbers better

Lung cancer still has one of the lowest 5-year survival rates because people aren't being diagnosed early enough
Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 7:24 AM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Lung cancer rates are improving in the U.S., including for people of color, but health officials say more people need to get screened.

The American Lung Association just came out with its latest “State of Lung Cancer” report.

It says while the survival rate for people of color improved, there are still lingering disparities. The report looks at lung cancer rates for every state.

It looks at national trends in six categories: Survival rate, early diagnosis, surgery for treatment, the lack of treatment, and health disparities.

It also puts Medicaid under a microscope. It’s one of the only health-care options not required to cover lung cancer screenings for high-risk populations.

Here are some of the numbers in the 16-page report.

The 5-year lung cancer survival rate for people of color increased by 17% in the last two years. That helps close the health disparity gap.

The report found overall the 5-year survival rate for lung cancer increased 22% nationally, to nearly 27% of patients from 2015 to 2019.

However, the report says lung cancer has one of the lowest 5-year survival rates because people are getting diagnosed too late, when it’s not as curable.

The American Lung Association says it’s important to get screened and catch it early. It predicts close to 238,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year.