New Report Reveals Lung Cancer Screening Is Too Low in Florida

American Lung Association’s annual report also finds Black community least likely to receive surgical treatment

Today, the American Lung Association in Florida released its 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report, which finds that the rate of lung cancer screening in Florida is far too low at 2.4%, compared to the national average of 4.5%. The 6th annual report highlights the toll of lung cancer in Florida and examines key indicators including new cases, survival, early diagnosis, surgical treatment, lack of treatment and screening rates.

The data underscore the urgent need for more high-risk people to be screened to increase survivorship. If lung cancer is caught early before it spreads, the likelihood of surviving 5 years or more improves to 63%.

The report also reveals health disparities, with Black individuals in Florida being least likely to receive surgery as the first course of treatment. Additionally, Florida ranks poorly for early diagnosis. So, more work is needed to reduce the burden of lung cancer in the state.

“Thankfully, in Florida, 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 Beth Ash, chair of the Lung Association’s Gulf Coast Florida Board and custom business initiative manager at Thermo Fisher Scientific. “However, lung cancer continues to be the leading cause of cancer deaths here in Florida and across the nation, and our recent report makes it clear that we have more work to do to increase lung cancer screening, improve lung cancer treatment and address health disparities in our Black community.”

The report found that Florida ranks:

  • 20 out of 48 in the nation for rate of new lung cancer cases at 54.7 per 100,000. The national rate is 54.6 per 100,000.
  • 14 out of 42 in the nation for survival at 27.6%. The national rate of people alive five years after a lung cancer diagnosis is 26.6%.
  • 37 out of 47 in the nation for early diagnosis at 24.9%. Nationally, only 26.6% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the survival rate is much higher.
  • 42 out of 51 in the nation for lung cancer screening at 2.4%. 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.
  • 20 out of 47 in the nation for surgery at 20.6%. 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.
  • 43 out of 47 in the nation for lack of treatment at 25.6%. Nationally, 20.6% of cases receive no treatment.
  • 29 out of 51 in the nation smoking at 14.7%. Nationally, 13.5% of adults currently smoke.

This report emphasizes the need for all Floridians to have access to quality and affordable healthcare coverage. Florida lawmakers have an opportunity to close the healthcare coverage gap.

Nationally, the “State of Lung Cancer” report finds 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.

The 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report highlights that Florida 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 in Tampa at Bank of America Plaza is coming up on Saturday, April 6, 2024. Learn more at ClimbTampa.org.

For more information, contact:

Victoria O'Neill
(312) 273-5890
[email protected]

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