New report finds lung cancer survival has gotten better in the past 10 years

The American Lung Association’s first “State of Lung Cancer“report shows that survival in the U.S. has improved by 26% over the past decade. Here’s more:

  • Overall trends: More than 228,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year. The five-year survival rate for lung cancer is now around 22%.
  • State-level trends: Utah has the lowest rates of the disease, while Kentucky has the highest. Five-year survival rates range from 26% in Connecticut to 17% in Alabama.
  • Diagnosis and treatment: Early stage diagnosis was highest in Wyoming — at 23% — but around 17% in Alaska. Surgery, which makes lung cancer more curable, was the first course of treatment for 31% of Massachusetts patients, and for 14% of those in New Mexico.

“Every three and a half minutes someone in the United States will die from lung cancer, accounting for about one in four cancer deaths. Yet, more Americans than ever are surviving lung cancer. While the disease remains the leading cause of cancer deaths among both women and men, over the past 10 years the survival rate has dramatically increased. The “State of Lung Cancer” report examines this promising trend, including what is driving the change and what still needs to be done to save more lives.

The five-year survival rate—the rate of people who are still alive five years after being diagnosed—is now 21.7 percent, as reported in the 2019 “State of Lung Cancer” report, up from 17.2 percent a decade ago. This is a dramatic 26 percent improvement over the past 10 years. This year’s report supports both the lifesaving potential of lung cancer screening, which finds the disease at an early stage when it’s more curable, and the importance of advancements in lung cancer research which holds the promise for better treatment options.

A strategic imperative of the American Lung Association is to defeat lung cancer, and to do so, we need an approach that engages a variety of tactics and stakeholders to address the disease, its risk factors, public policy efforts and public health protections, awareness of lung cancer screening and more.

The “State of Lung Cancer” report provides a state-specific understanding of the burden and opportunities to address lung cancer.

The report also serves as both a guidepost and rallying call, providing policymakers, researchers, healthcare practitioners, as well as patients, caregivers and others committed to ending lung cancer by identifying where their state can best focus its resources to decrease the toll of lung cancer.

Click here to read more.

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