WILLISTON, VT | November 15, 2021
The American Lung Association’s 4th annual “State of Lung Cancer” report, released today, highlights how the toll of lung cancer varies by state and examines key indicators throughout the U.S. including: new cases, survival, early diagnosis, surgical treatment, lack of treatment and screening rates. The report shows that Vermont’s rate of new lung cancer cases was higher than the national rate, with 60.6 new cases per 100,000, but that the state fared well in other areas, ranking in the top 10 for 5-year survival rate and screenings for high-risk individuals.
The report reveals that the lung cancer five-year survival rate increased 14.5% nationally to 23.7% yet remains significantly lower among communities of color. In fact, while the national lung cancer survival rate increased, it remains at only 20% for communities of color and 18% for Black Americans. This is the second year that the “State of Lung Cancer” report explores the lung cancer burden among racial and ethnic minority groups at the national and state levels.
“While we celebrate that more Americans are surviving lung cancer, too many people are being left behind, and the disease remains the leading cause of cancer deaths,” said Trevor Summerfield, director of advocacy for the American Lung Association in Vermont. “The report shows that Vermont is pretty average across the board, demonstrating that we have more to do to prevent the disease and support those facing it, such as making sure everyone has access to quality and affordable healthcare and promoting testing of homes for radon.”
The report found that Vermont ranked:
- 28 in the nation for lung cancer incidence at 60.6 per 100,000. Incidence refers to the number of new cases of lung cancer in each state. The national lung cancer incidence is 57.7 per 100,000.
- 10 in the nation for survival at 25.8%. The national average of people alive five years after a lung cancer diagnosis is 23.7%.
- 12 in the nation for early diagnosis at 25.9%. Nationally, only 24.5% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the five-year survival rate is much higher.
- 7 in the nation for lung cancer screening at 10%. 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 5.7% of those at high risk were screened.
- 26 in the nation for surgery at 19.3%. Lung cancer can often be treated with surgery if it is diagnosed at an early stage and has not spread. Nationally, 20.7% of cases underwent surgery.
- 35 in the nation for lack of treatment at 23%. Nationally, 21.1% of cases receive no treatment.
While the “State of Lung Cancer” report findings show significant work to be done, there is hope. In March of 2021, the United States Preventive Services Task Force expanded its recommendation for screening to include a larger age range and more current or former smokers. This dramatically increased the number of women and Black Americans who are eligible for lung cancer screening.
The Lung Association encourages everyone to join the effort to end lung cancer. Go to Lung.org/solc to learn more about lung cancer in your state and sign our petition to increase funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect our nation’s health from disease, including lung cancer.
For current and former smokers, there are lifesaving resources available. Find out if you are eligible for lung cancer screening at SavedByTheScan.org, and then talk to your doctor about getting screened.
Learn more about "State of Lung Cancer" at Lung.org/solc. For media interested in speaking with a lung cancer expert about advances in lung cancer and the "State of Lung Cancer" 2021 report or lung cancer survivor about their experience, contact Jennifer Solomon at the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 516-680-8927
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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