New Report: Lifesaving Lung Cancer Screening Rates Too Low in Kansas

American Lung Association examines toll of lung cancer in Kansas, underscores urgent need for more people to be screened

The 2022 “State of Lung Cancer” report shows that only 8.5% of Kansas residents who are eligible have been screened for lung cancer. The American Lung Association’s 5th annual report, released today, highlights the toll of lung cancer in Kansas and examines key indicators including new cases, survival, early diagnosis, surgical treatment, lack of treatment and screening rates.

Nationally, the “State of Lung Cancer” report shows continued progress for lung cancer survival. The lung cancer five-year survival rate is now 25% and increased 21% from 2014 to 2018. Here in Kansas, the lung cancer survival rate is at about the national average at 25.1%. 

“Lung cancer screening is key to early diagnosis, and early diagnosis saves lives. Unfortunately, here in Kansas, not enough people are getting this lifesaving screening,” said Sara Prem, Advocacy Director at the American Lung Association. “We all can help reduce the burden of lung cancer in Kansas. If you are eligible for lung cancer screening, we encourage you to speak with your doctor about it. If a loved one is eligible, please encourage them to get screened.”

Currently, 14.2 million Americans meet the US Preventive Services Task Force guidelines for screening. Under these guidelines, a person is eligible for lung cancer screening if they are between 50-80 years of age, have a 20 pack-year history (1 pack/day for 20 years, 2 packs/day for 10 years) and are a current smoker, or have quit within the last 15 years. Find out if you are eligible for lung cancer screening at SavedByTheScan.org.

The report found that Kansas ranked:

  • 20th in the nation for rate of new lung cancer cases at 55.5 per 100,000. The national rate is 56.7 per 100,000.
  • 20th in the nation for survival at 25.1%. The national rate of people alive five years after a lung cancer diagnosis is 25%.
  • 13th in the nation for lung cancer screening at 8.5%. 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 5.8% of those at high risk were screened.

“State of Lung Cancer” highlights that Kansas must do more to reduce the burden of lung cancer and encourages everyone to join the effort to end lung cancer. Learn more about the report, and email President Biden to thank him for his leadership on the Cancer Moonshot Initiative and urge him to work to increase lung cancer screening for individuals at high risk at Lung.org/solc.

For more information, contact:

James A. Martinez
(312) 445-2501
[email protected]

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