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New report reveals lifesaving lung cancer screening rates too low in Illinois


Above / American Lung Association examines the toll of lung cancer in Illinois, while underscoring urgent need for more people to be screened. Youth and their elders are encouraged to have conversations with the facts about lifesaving lung cancer screenings. (Photo courtesy ALA)

REPORT FROM CHICAGO / Nov. 15, 2022  The 2022 “State of Lung Cancer” report shows that only 7.0% of Illinois residents who are eligible have been screened for lung cancer. 

The American Lung Association’s fifth annual report, released today, highlights the toll of lung cancer in Illinois and examines key indicators, including new cases, survival, early diagnosis, surgical treatment, lack of treatment and screening rates.

Report reveals rankings in Illinois

  • 32nd in the nation for rate of new lung cancer cases at 61.7 per 100,000. The national rate is 56.7 per 100,000.
  • 18th in the nation for survival at 25.7%. The national rate of people alive five years after a lung cancer diagnosis is 25%.
  • 17th in the nation for early diagnosis at 26.7%. Nationally, only 25.8% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the survival rate is much higher.
  • 21st in the nation for lung cancer screening at 7.0%. 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 5.8% of those at high risk were screened.
  • 18th in the nation for surgery at 20.9%. 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.
  • 12th in the nation for lack of treatment at 17.4%. Nationally, 20.6% of cases receive no treatment.

Nationally, the “State of Lung Cancer” report shows continued progress for lung cancer survival. The lung cancer five-year survival rate is now 25% and increased 21% from 2014 to 2018.

When vaping became a teen craze, this publication promoted presentations and stories where families could get information about its hazards. When March 2020 shut down local public meetings, those informational gatherings stopped. Many of those stories remain available with a search under “vaping.” Or simply click here.

Here in Illinois, the lung cancer survival rate is close to the national average at 25.7%. The report also highlights that people of color who are diagnosed with lung cancer face worse outcomes compared to white Americans, including lower survival rate, less likely to be diagnosed early, less likely to receive surgical treatment and more likely to receive no treatment. In Illinois, Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders are least likely to be diagnosed early.

Lifesaving screenings available

“Lung cancer screening is key to early diagnosis, and early diagnosis saves lives. Unfortunately, here in Illinois, not enough people are getting this lifesaving screening,” said Kristina Hamilton, Advocacy Director at the American Lung Association, noting the Governor and the Illinois General Assembly had added $1 million to the most recent state budget for lung cancer screenings.

“We all can help reduce the burden of lung cancer in Illinois,” Hamilton added. “If you think you are eligible for lung cancer screening, we encourage you to speak with your doctor about it. If you think a loved one is eligible, please encourage them to get screened.”

In addition, rates of new lung cancer cases in parts of central and southern Illinois are significantly higher than the rates in most of the Chicagoland area.

Currently, 14.2 million Americans meet the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines for screening. Under these guidelines, a person is eligible for lung cancer screening if they are between 50-80 years of age, have a 20 pack-year history (1 pack/day for 20 years, 2 packs/day for 10 years) and are a current smoker, or have quit within the last 15 years.

Find out if you are eligible for lung cancer screening at SavedByTheScan.org.

“State of Lung Cancer” highlights that Illinois must do more to reduce the burden of lung cancer and encourages everyone to join the effort to end lung cancer.

Click here for 43-second video of the lung cancer screening: https://lung.app.box.com/s/arbelqt1d2c1o448fo4bs5uyayp00ktl.

American Lung Association since 1904

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.

Report and photos provided by James A. Martinez, Senior Director | Communications | Western Division, American Lung Association.


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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.