New Report Reveals Connecticut Leads Country in Lung Cancer Early Diagnosis and 5-Year Survival for Lung Cancer

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

The 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report reveals that Connecticut ranks #2 in the nation for both early diagnosis and 5-year survival of lung cancer. This means that those at risk for lung cancer or those living with the disease in Connecticut are more likely to receive an early diagnosis and more likely to be living 5 years after diagnosis. The American Lung Association’s 6th annual report, released today, highlights the toll of lung cancer in Connecticut and examines key indicators including new cases, survival, early diagnosis, surgical treatment, lack of treatment and screening rates.

The report, which also studies health disparities as they relate to lung cancer, also found that Asian or Pacific Islander individuals in Connecticut are least likely to be diagnosed early. 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, in Connecticut, 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 Ruth Canovi, director of advocacy at the American Lung Association. “However, lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer deaths here in the Constitution State and across the nation, and our recent report makes it clear that we have more work to do to ensure that all communities have equal access to and awareness of early diagnostic tools like screenings.” 

The report found that Connecticut ranked:

  • 22 in the nation for rate of new lung cancer cases at 55.6 per 100,000. The national rate is 54.6 per 100,000.
  • 2 in the nation for survival at 33.1%. The national rate of people alive five years after a lung cancer diagnosis is 26.6%.
  • 2 in the nation for early diagnosis at 32.3%. Nationally, only 26.6% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the survival rate is much higher.
  • 19 in the nation for lung cancer screening at 5.9%. 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.
  • 6 in the nation for surgery at 25.1%. 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.
  • 9 in the nation for lack of treatment at 17.1%. Nationally, 20.6% of cases receive no treatment.

We applaud the CT General Assembly for establishing funding for a lung cancer screening program in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget year and beyond.  As demonstrated by the extremely low screening rates, Connecticut has a long way to go to help ensure people who are eligible for lung cancer screening access these services.  This initial investment for Connecticut to increase screening is an important first step.  The Lung Association will continue to work with partners to advocate for continued commitment to improving access to lung cancer screening and treatment, preventing lung cancer and reducing stigma associated with lung cancer.

The 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report highlights that Connecticut 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. The Fight For Air Climb in Hartford is coming up on April 6, 2024. Learn more at 

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