New Report Reveals Lung Cancer Survival Rate Is Too Low in Georgia

American Lung Association’s annual report also finds AAPI community least likely to be diagnosed early

Today, the American Lung Association in Georgia released its 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report, which finds that the lung cancer survival rate in Georgia is far too low at 23.8%, compared to the national average of 26.6%. Working to increase lung cancer screenings and early diagnosis is key to addressing the burden of lung cancer in Georgia.

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

The report also reveals health disparities, with Asian or Pacific Islander individuals in Georgia being least likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer early. Additionally, Georgia ranks poorly for early diagnosis and poorly for surgery as part of the first course of treatment.

“Lung cancer continues to be the leading cause of cancer deaths here in Georgia and across the nation. Our recent report makes it clear that we have more work to do to focus on increasing lung cancer screening and early detection initiatives, as well as addressing health disparities in our AAPI community,” said Danna Thompson, director of advocacy for Georgia at the American Lung Association.

The report found that Georgia ranks:

  • 29 out of 48 in the nation for rate of new lung cancer cases at 58.2 per 100,000. The national rate is 54.6 per 100,000.
  • 32 out of 42 in the nation for survival at 23.8%. The national rate of people alive five years after a lung cancer diagnosis is 26.6%.
  • 38 out of 47 in the nation for early diagnosis at 24.8%. Nationally, only 26.6% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the survival rate is much higher.
  • 32 out of 51 in the nation for lung cancer screening at 3.8%. 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.
  • 32 out of 47 in the nation for surgery at 18.4%. 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.
  • 35 out of 47 in the nation for lack of treatment at 22.1%. Nationally, 20.6% of cases receive no treatment.
  • 32 out of 51 in the nation for smoking at 15.0%. Nationally, 13.5% of adults currently smoke.

This report only underlines the need for Georgians to have access to quality and affordable healthcare coverage. Georgia lawmakers have an opportunity support coverage for over 400,000 low-income children, adults, pregnant individuals, people with disabilities and seniors by fully expanding Medicaid.

The 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report highlights that Georgia 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 Thompson. “We need to keep up the momentum to save more lives.”

Get involved and help the mission of the American Lung Association. The Fight For Air Climb in Atlanta at Promenade Tower is coming up on April 20, 2024. Learn more and register at FightForAirClimb.org/Atlanta.

For more information, contact:

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

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