New Report Identifies Opportunities for Poway to Save Lives from Lung Cancer

The 2021 “State of Lung Cancer” report shows that California has the third lowest lung cancer rates and second lowest smoking rates in the nation, but more lives can be saved in Poway and across the nation with increased awareness about the disease and available lung cancer screenings. 

The American Lung Association’s 4th annual report, released today, highlights how the toll of lung cancer varies by state and examines key indicators throughout the U.S. including: new cases, survival, early diagnosis, surgical treatment, lack of treatment and screening rates. This is the second year that the “State of Lung Cancer” report explores the lung cancer burden among racial and ethnic minority groups at the national and state levels.

The report reveals that the lung cancer five-year survival rate increased 14.5% nationally to 23.7%. 

“While we celebrate that more Americans are surviving lung cancer, too many people are being left behind, and the disease remains the leading cause of cancer deaths,” said Brian Le, Health Promotions Manager, American Lung Association. “Much more can and must be done at the state and local level. In Poway we can take steps to prevent lung cancer such as increasing awareness of life-saving lung cancer screenings and enacting common-sense public health policies such as smokefree outdoor dining ordinances. Poway is one of the few cities in San Diego County that still allows smoking and vaping on restaurant patios. Along with further education, this is one of many steps that can be taken to fight lung cancer in our community.”

The report found that California ranked:
•    Third lowest in the nation for lung cancer incidence at 40.6 per 100,000. Incidence refers to the number of new cases of lung cancer in each state. The national lung cancer incidence is 57.7 per 100,000.
•    Second lowest for smoking rates. About 10 percent of Californians are current smokers, second only to Utah.
•    18th in the nation for survival at 24.1%. The national average of people alive five years after a lung cancer diagnosis is 23.7%.
•    28th in the nation for early diagnosis at 24.1%. Nationally, only 24.5% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the five-year survival rate is much higher.
•    Lowest in the nation for lung cancer screening at 1%. 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 5.7% of those at high risk were screened.
•    46th in the nation for lack of treatment at 27%. Nationally, 21.1% of cases receive no treatment.

While the “State of Lung Cancer” report findings show significant work to be done, there is hope. In March of 2021, the United States Preventive Services Task Force expanded its recommendation for screening to include a larger age range and more current or former smokers. This will increase the number of people eligible for lung cancer screening.

For current and former smokers, there are lifesaving resources available. Find out if you are eligible for lung cancer screening at, and then talk to your doctor about getting screened. 

Learn more about "State of Lung Cancer" at

For more information, contact:

California Media Contact
(310) 359-6386
[email protected]

Clinical Trials: Why It's Important to Participate
, | Dec 14, 2023