'State of Lung Cancer’ Report Finds that Black New Yorkers are Least Likely to Be Diagnosed Early in the State

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

According to the American Lung Association’s 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report, New York is a national leader on 5-year survival, early diagnosis, and surgery rates, while Black New Yorkers are the least likely to be diagnosed early in the State.  The 6th annual report, released today, highlights the toll of lung cancer in New York and examines key indicators including new cases, survival, early diagnosis, surgical treatment, lack of treatment and screening rates.

While Black New Yorkers were found to be the least likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer early in the state, 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 New York, 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 Trevor Summerfield, director of advocacy at the American Lung Association. “However, lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer deaths here in the Empire State and across the nation, and our recent report makes it clear that we have more work to do to focus on screenings for those at high risk, and treatment for everyone following diagnosis.”  

The report found that New York ranked:

  • 23 in the nation for rate of new lung cancer cases at 55.9 per 100,000. The national rate is 54.6 per 100,000.
  • 3 in the nation for survival at 32.1%. The national rate of people alive five years after a lung cancer diagnosis is 26.6%.
  • 4 in the nation for early diagnosis at 31%. Nationally, only 26.6% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the survival rate is much higher.
  • 26 in the nation for lung cancer screening at 4.9%. 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.
  • 2 in the nation for surgery at 29.3%. 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.
  • 24 in the nation for lack of treatment at 19.4%. Nationally, 20.6% of cases receive no treatment.

In New York, we are currently urging Governor Kathy Hochul to sign biomarker legislation that was passed by the legislature in June. The legislation is key to giving lung cancer patients access to precision medicine that not only saves lives but improves the quality of life of those living with lung cancer. This is urgent and must be signed now for the benefit of all New Yorkers. 

The 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report highlights that New York 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. The Fight For Air Climb New York is coming up on March 23, 2024 at PENN1, and registration is now open. Learn more at FightForAirClimb.org/NewYorkCity
 

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