New Report Reveals Idaho Lags Behind Country in Lung Cancer Screening

American Lung Association examines toll of lung cancer in Idaho, underscores urgent need for more high-risk people to be screened to increase survivorship

Today, the American Lung Association in Idaho released its 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report, which finds that the lung cancer screening in the state is far too low at 2.9%. Working to increase lung cancer screening is key to addressing the burden of lung cancer in Idaho. The 6th annual report, released today, highlights the toll of lung cancer in Idaho and examines key indicators including new cases, survival, early diagnosis, surgical treatment, lack of treatment and screening rates. 

The report also found that Idaho ranked 9th in the nation for new lung cancer cases and 20th for survival rate. Nationally, the “State of Lung Cancer” report found 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,” said Heather Kimmel, Division Director of Health Promotions for the American Lung Association. “However, lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer deaths here in Idaho and across the nation, and our recent report makes it clear that we have more work to do to improve lung cancer screening and treatment.”  

The report found that Idaho ranked: 

  • 9 out of 48 in the nation for rate of new lung cancer cases at 46.2 per 100,000. The national rate is 54.6 per 100,000. 
  • 20 out of 42 in the nation for survival at 26.1%. The national rate of people alive five years after a lung cancer diagnosis is 26.6%. 
  • 15 out of 47 in the nation for early diagnosis at 27.9%. Nationally, only 26.6% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the survival rate is much higher. 
  • 36 out of 51 in the nation for lung cancer screening at 2.9%. 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. 
  • 31 out of 47 in the nation for surgery at 18.5%. 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. 
  • 39 out of 47 in the nation for lack of treatment at 23.7%. Nationally, 20.6% of cases receive no treatment. 

The 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report highlights that Idaho 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. 

For more information, contact:

Katie Geraghty
310-359-6386
[email protected]

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