New Report Reveals Lung Cancer Screening Is Too Low in Arkansas

American Lung Association’s annual report also finds one in five adults currently smokes

Today, the American Lung Association released its 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report, which finds that the rate of lung cancer screening in Arkansas is far too low at 3.7%, compared to the national average of 4.5%. The report also reveals that Arkansas ranks poorly for lung cancer survival and has one of the highest rates of smoking. 21.1% of the adult population in the state currently smokes, compared to the national average of 13.5%.

The 6th annual report highlights the toll of lung cancer in Arkansas and examines key indicators including new cases, survival, early diagnosis, surgical treatment, lack of treatment and screening rates.

“Lung cancer continues to be the leading cause of cancer deaths here in Arkansas and across the nation. Our recent report makes it clear that we have more work to do to increase lung cancer screening, early detection initiatives and smoking cessation programming,” said Laura Turner, senior manager of advocacy for Arkansas at the American Lung Association.

The report found that Arkansas ranks:

  • 36 out of 42 in the nation for survival at 22.6%. The national rate of people alive five years after a lung cancer diagnosis is 26.6%.
  • 33 out of 51 in the nation for lung cancer screening at 3.7%. Lung cancer screening with annual low-dose CT scans for those at high risk can reduce the lung cancer death rate by up to 20%. Nationally, only 4.5% of those at high risk were screened.
  • 50 out of 51 in the nation for smoking at 21.1%. Nationally, 13.5% of adults currently smoke.

The 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report highlights that Arkansas must do more to reduce the burden of lung cancer and encourages everyone to help end lung cancer. Join the Lung Association’s efforts by asking your member of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 4286, the Increasing Access to Lung Cancer Screening Act at Lung.org/SOLC.

Nationally, the “State of Lung Cancer” report finds that lung cancer survival rates are improving for everyone, including people of color. In fact, the five-year lung cancer survival rate for people of color has increased by 17% in the last two years, helping close the health disparity gap.

“Thankfully, nationally, the lung cancer survival rate has improved because of increased awareness, improved access to healthcare and cutting-edge research into new treatments for the disease,” added Turner. “We need to keep up the momentum to save more lives.”

In Arkansas, COVID-19 impacted cancer surveillance in 2020. The following data is not available for the state:

  • Rate of new lung cancer cases. The national rate is 54.6 per 100,000.
  • Rate of early diagnosis. Nationally, only 26.6% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the survival rate is much higher.
  • Rate of surgery. Lung cancer can often be treated with surgery if it is diagnosed at an early stage and has not spread. Nationally, 20.8% of cases underwent surgery.
  • Rate of lack of treatment. Nationally, 20.6% of cases receive no treatment.
For more information, contact:

Victoria O'Neill
(312) 273-5890
[email protected]

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