U.S. Lung Cancer Survival Improving, But Still Linked to Where You Live

In the past decade, new lung cancer cases have decreased by 19% and five-year survival has increased by 26%, according to a promising report from the American Lung Association.

Where you live has an impact

Despite this, lung cancer remains the leading cause of death in the United States, and the chance of surviving the disease is largely dictated by where a person lives. Incidence rates of lung cancer between 2012 and 2016 varied by state, ranging from 27.1 per 100,000 people in Utah to 92.6 per 100,000 people in Kentucky. The five-year survival rate also ranges from 26.4% in Connecticut to 16.8% in Alabama.

According to the report, the early diagnosis rate was highest in Wyoming at 28.1% and lowest in Alaska at 16.6%.

The findings was based on data from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries; the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program; and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The report found that lung cancer rates for every measure vary significantly by state, and that every state can do more to defeat lung cancer, such as increasing the rate of screening among those at high risk, addressing disparities in receipt of treatment, decreasing exposure to radon and secondhand smoke and eliminating tobacco use,” the authors wrote in report.