Advertisement

Lung cancer survival rates said to improve, but not for people of color

Lung cancer survival rates said to improve, but not for people of color
The American Lung Associations annual report shows that the average five-year survival rate increased to nearly 24% from 14.5%, but it remains at 20% for people of color overall, and 18% for Black Americans. Photo by kalhh/Pixabay

Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Lung cancer survival rates in the United States continue to rise, but certain racial groups are still hit hard by the disease, the American Lung Association reports.

Its fourth annual "State of Lung Cancer" report shows that the average five-year survival rate increased to nearly 24% from 14.5%, but it remains at 20% for people of color overall, and 18% for Black Americans.

Advertisement

"The report highlights important news -- more people are surviving lung cancer however, it also underscores the fact that, sadly, health disparities persist for communities of color," said Harold Wimmer, national president and CEO for the lung association.

"Everyone deserves the opportunity to lead a full and healthy life, so more must be done to address these health disparities," he added in a lung association news release.

RELATED Officials weigh lockdown for New Delhi as pollution levels skyrocket

The disparities were not confined to race, with wide variances seen among different states: The highest overall survival rate was in Connecticut (nearly 29%), while the lowest was in Alabama (just over 18%).

Nationwide, only 24% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the five-year survival rate is much higher (60%), while 46% of cases are not detected until a late stage when the survival rate is only 6%. Early diagnosis rates are best in Massachusetts (30%) and worst in Hawaii (19%).

Advertisement

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%, but only about 6% of those at high risk are screened. Massachusetts has the highest screening rate at about 18%, while California and Wyoming have the lowest, at 1%.

RELATED Study: Cancer deaths in U.S. fall overall by 27% over last 50 years

The report also found that just over 21% of all patients receive no treatment. While some reasons for non-treatment are unavoidable, no patients should go untreated due to: lack of knowledge or a health care provider stigma cost of treatment or fatalism after diagnosis, the association said.

Another finding was that people of color have worse outcomes than white people, including a lower likelihood of being diagnosed early and of having surgery, and being more likely to receive no treatment, according to the report.

While 40 states' Medicaid fee-for-service programs cover lung cancer screening, seven programs do not provide coverage, and three states did not have information available on their coverage policy.

RELATED Jerry Remy, Red Sox broadcaster and former player, dies at 68

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on lung cancer.

Copyright © 2021 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement