New Report Reveals Illinois is 16th Worst in Nation for New Lung Cancer Cases

Report also shows Land of Lincoln is 17th best in the nation for survival, above the national average


The 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report reveals Illinois ranks as 16th worst in the nation for new lung cancer cases. The state saw 59.7 new cases per 100,000, higher than the national average of 54.6 new cases per 100,000. 

The American Lung Association’s 6th annual report, released today, highlights the toll of lung cancer in Illinois and examines key indicators including new cases, survival, early diagnosis, surgical treatment, lack of treatment and screening rates.

The report also found that while Illinois is seeing more cases than the national average, the state is ranked 17th in country for survival. Illinois has a 27.2% rate for keeping people alive five years after a lung cancer diagnosis compared to the national average of 26.6% 

Nationally, the “State of Lung Cancer” report found 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 Illinois, 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 Kristina Hamilton, Advocacy Director at the American Lung Association. “However, lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer deaths here in Illinois and across the nation, and our recent report makes it clear that we have to increase state funding for lung cancer screening and awareness.”

The report found that Illinois ranked:

  • 32 out of 48 in the nation for rate of new lung cancer cases at 59.67 per 100,000. The national rate is 54.6 per 100,000.
  • 17 out of 42 in the nation for survival at 27.2%. The national rate of people alive five years after a lung cancer diagnosis is 26.6%.
  • 20 out of 47 in the nation for early diagnosis at 27.3%. Nationally, only 26.6% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the survival rate is much higher.
  • 21 out of 51 in the nation for lung cancer screening at 5.6%. 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.
  • 18 out of 47 in the nation for surgery at 21.0%. 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.
  • 15 out of 47 in the nation for lack of treatment at 18.2%. Nationally, 20.6% of cases receive no treatment.

For the first time ever, in 2022, the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Pritzker provided state funding for lung cancer screening to help implement the state’s 5-year Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan. The funding created the Illinois Lung Cancer Screening Initiative, which aims to increase education and early detection for lung cancer. Learn more about at Lung.org/lcs-initiative..

Effective January 1, 2024, the Tenant Radon Protection Act, which was passed and signed into law into law on July 28, will allow renters to be released from their lease if high levels of radon are detected in their unit and their landlord chooses not to mitigate the radon. The bill also expands what information landlords must disclose about radon to current and prospective renters. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

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

Get involved and help the mission of the American Lung Association. Fight For Air Climb Oakbrook is coming up this spring on March 10th. Learn more at FightForAirClimb.org/Oakbrook.

For more information, contact:

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

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