Massachusetts Ranks Among Best States for Screening, Early-Stage Diagnosis, and Surgery for Lung Cancer According to New Report

New American Lung Association data shows Massachusetts leads the way on managing the burden of lung cancer

The 2022 “State of Lung Cancer” report reveals that Massachusetts ranks #1 in the nation for screening rates, surgical treatment rates, and early-stage diagnosis of lung cancer.  The American Lung Association’s 5th annual report, released today, highlights the toll of lung cancer in Massachusetts and examines key indicators including new cases, survival, early diagnosis, surgical treatment, lack of treatment and screening rates across the nation.

Nationally, the “State of Lung Cancer” report shows continued progress for lung cancer survival. The lung cancer five-year survival rate is now 25% nationwide, and increased 21% from 2014 to 2018.  Unfortunately,  the report also highlights that people of color who are diagnosed with lung cancer face worse outcomes compared to white Americans, including lower survival rate, less likely to be diagnosed early, less likely to receive surgical treatment and more likely to receive no treatment. In Massachusetts, Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders are least likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer early.

“Lung cancer screening is key to early diagnosis, and early diagnosis saves lives. Massachusetts leads the nation with your screening rate of 16.3%, but that means that 83% of eligible, high-risk people in our state are not being screened,” said Daniel Fitzgerald, Director of Advocacy at the American Lung Association in Massachusetts. “We all can help reduce the burden of lung cancer in Massachusetts. 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

The report found that Massachusetts ranked:

  • 30 in the nation for rate of new lung cancer cases at 60.4 per 100,000. The national rate is 56.7 per 100,000.
  • 1 in the nation for early diagnosis at 31.9%. Nationally, only 25.8% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the survival rate is much higher.
  • 1 in the nation for lung cancer screening at 16.3%. 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.
  • 1 in the nation for surgery at 31.2%. 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.
  • 2 in the nation for lack of treatment at 14%. Nationally, 20.6% of cases receive no treatment.
  • There is no data for survival rate in Massachusetts. The national rate of people alive five years after a lung cancer diagnosis is 25%.

“State of Lung Cancer” highlights that Massachusetts 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


For more information, contact:

Jennifer Solomon
(516) 680-8927
[email protected]

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