New Report Reveals Nebraska Lags Behind Country in Lung Cancer Screening

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

The 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report reveals Nebraska ranks 33rd in the nation for lung cancer screening with just 3.7 percent of those at high risk of lung cancer getting screened. This means that Nebraska is among the worst in the nation for lung cancer screening so more work is needed to reduce the burden of lung cancer.

The American Lung Association’s 6th annual report, released today, highlights the toll of lung cancer in Nebraska 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 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.

“The lung cancer survival rate has improved nationally because of increased awareness, improved access to healthcare and cutting-edge research into new treatments for the disease,” said Sara Prem, director of advocacy in Nebraska at the American Lung Association. “However, lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer deaths here in Nebraska and across the nation, and our recent report makes it clear that we have more work to do to particularly in getting more Nebraskans at high risk for lung cancer screened and increasing awareness of the importance of radon testing.”

The report found that Nebraska ranked:

  • 17 out of 48 in the nation for rate of new lung cancer cases at 52.77 per 100,000. The national rate is 54.6 per 100,000.
  • 28 out of 42 in the nation for survival at 24.5%. The national rate of people alive five years after a lung cancer diagnosis is 26.6%.
  • 9 out of 47 in the nation for early diagnosis at 28.5%. Nationally, only 26.6% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the survival rate is much higher.
  • 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.
  • 12 out of 47 in the nation for surgery at 22.2%. 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.
  • 22 out of 47 in the nation for lack of treatment at 19.1%. Nationally, 20.6% of cases receive no treatment.

The 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report highlights that Nebraska 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

Get involved and help the mission of the American Lung Association by joining us for the 43rd Annual Corporate Cup, in Omaha April 21, 2024. Powered by Green Plains, the Corporate Cup is Omaha’s premier running and corporate engagement event.  Learn more at OmahaCorporateCup.

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For more information, contact:

Janye Killelea
[email protected]

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