‘State of Lung Cancer' 2019 Report Finds that Only 1% of Those Eligible in Wyoming Receive Potentially Life-saving Lung Cancer Screening
Second annual report from American Lung Association explores how states can act to save more lives, support patients and families facing lung cancer
(November 13, 2019) - CHEYENNE, Wyo.
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Wyoming ranks 49th out of 51 states and territories for people eligible to receive lung cancer screening with only 1 percent of people being screened, according to the new “State of Lung Cancer” 2019 report.
The report finds that the burden of lung cancer varies by state. By better understanding the impact of lung cancer across the nation, efforts and policies can be focused where the needs are greatest. This year’s report shows a positive trend of increased lung cancer survival, as the nationwide five-year lung cancer survival rate of 21.7 percent, up from 17.2 percent a decade ago, reflects a 26 percent improvement over the past 10 years. In Wyoming, the survival rate is 19.2 percent, ranking 34th out of 45 states.
“While we celebrate that more Americans than ever are surviving lung cancer, the disease remains the leading cause of cancer deaths for men and women in the U.S.,” said Carrie Nyssen, senior director of advocacy for the American Lung Association in Wyoming.
Part of the reason that lung cancer is so deadly is because most lung cancer cases are diagnosed at a later stage, after the disease has spread. Lung cancer screening is the key to early detection, when the disease is most curable, but only 21.5 percent of lung cancer cases nationally are diagnosed at an early stage. While this simple screening test has been available since 2015, only 1 percent of those eligible in Wyoming have been screened.
“Screening for lung cancer with annual low-dose CT scans among those who qualify can reduce the lung cancer death rate by up to 20 percent,” said Nyssen. “This simple test is a powerful tool to save lives, yet we’re only seeing a fraction of those who qualify actually being screened.”
This year’s report finds Wyoming must do more to protect residents from lung cancer. Below are the key findings for Wyoming:
• Survival: Lung cancer has one of the lowest five-year survival rates because cases are often diagnosed at later stages when it is less likely to be curable. Wyoming ranks 34th out of 45 states with a 19.2 percent survival rate.
• Early Diagnosis: Nationally, only 21.5 percent of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the five-year survival rate is much higher. Wyoming ranks first in the nation with 28.1 percent of cases being diagnosed in the early stages
• Surgical Treatment: Lung cancer can often be treated with surgery if it is diagnosed at an early stage and has not spread widely. Nationally, 20.6 percent of cases underwent surgery. Wyoming ranks among the bottom with 15.7 percent of cases undergoing surgery as the first course of treatment.
Learn more about "State of Lung Cancer" at Lung.org/solc. For media interested in speaking with a medical expert about the "State of Lung Cancer" 2019 report or lung cancer survivor about their experience, contact Holly Harvey at [email protected] or 206-512-3292.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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