New Report Reveals North Dakota is 3rd Best State in Nation for Lung Screenings

Report shows North Dakota is also 2nd worst state when it comes to radon

The 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report reveals North Dakota ranks as the third best in the country for lung screenings. The state has a 10.2% lung cancer screening rate compared to the national average of 4.5%. Annual lung cancer screenings for those at high risk can reduce the lung cancer death rate by up to 20%. 

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

The report also found North Dakota is the third best state in the nation regarding the percentage of people not receiving treatment after a lung cancer diagnosis; and ranked as the second worst state in the nation for radon levels. 

“Thankfully, in North Dakota, 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 Pat McKone, Advocacy Director at the American Lung Association. “However, lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer deaths here in North Dakota and across the nation, and our recent report makes it clear that we have more work to do on radon and lung cancer prevention.” 

The report found that North Dakota ranked:

  • 26 out of 48 in the nation for rate of new lung cancer cases at 56.62 per 100,000. The national rate is 54.6 per 100,000.
  • 13 out of 42 in the nation for survival at 27.8%. The national rate of people alive five years after a lung cancer diagnosis is 26.6%.
  • 14 out of 47 in the nation for early diagnosis at 28.0%. Nationally, only 26.6% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the survival rate is much higher.
  • 3 out of 51 in the nation for lung cancer screening at 10.2%. 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.
  • 37 out of 47 in the nation for surgery at 17.2%. 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.
  • 3 out of 47 in the nation for lack of treatment at 14.3%. Nationally, 20.6% of cases receive no treatment.
  • 50 out of 51 in the nation for radon test results at 58.0%. 

The 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report highlights that North Dakota 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

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.

For more information, contact:

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

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