State of Lung Cancer 2020

Everyone deserves the opportunity to lead a full and healthy life. Sadly, systemic issues have contributed to health disparities, including for those facing lung cancer. People of color who are diagnosed with lung cancer face worse outcomes compared to white Americans because they are less likely to be diagnosed early, less likely to receive surgical treatment, and more likely to not receive any treatment. About half of the 30 million uninsured Americans are people of color, and research is clear that having health coverage impacts people’s medical care and ultimately their health outcomes. Addressing racial disparities in healthcare coverage is critical to addressing racial disparities in lung cancer care. 

Black Americans with lung cancer were 16% less likely to be diagnosed early, 19% less likely to receive surgical treatment, and 7% more likely to not receive any treatment compared to white Americans. 

Latinos with lung cancer were 13% less likely to be diagnosed early, 2% less likely to receive surgical treatment, and 39% more likely to not receive any treatment compared to white Americans.  

Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders with lung cancer were 15% less likely to be diagnosed early and 10% more likely to not receive any treatment compared to white Americans. However, unlike other groups, they were 11% more likely to receive surgical treatment compared to white Americans. 

Indigenous Peoples (American Indians/Alaska Natives) with lung cancer were 14% less likely to be diagnosed early, 19% less likely to receive surgical treatment, and 15% more likely to not receive any treatment compared to white Americans. 


Page last updated: November 17, 2020

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