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New Report: Michigan Ranks Among Worst for Early Diagnosis of Lung Cancer

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New Report: Michigan Ranks Among Worst for Early Diagnosis of Lung Cancer

“State of Lung Cancer” report examines toll of lung cancer in Michigan, identifies opportunities to save lives

The 2021 “State of Lung Cancer” report shows that Michigan ranks among the bottom 10 states in the nation when it comes to diagnosing lung cancer early.

The American Lung Association’s 4th annual 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 found that Michigan ranked:

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  • 35 in the nation (average) for lung cancer incidence at 63.4 per 100,000 people. 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 people.
  • 39 in the nation (below average) for early diagnosis at 22.6%. Nationally, only 24.5% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the five-year survival rate is much higher.
  • 11 in the nation (above average) for lung cancer screening at 8.2%. 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.
  • 27 in the nation (below average) for surgery at 19.1%. 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.
  • 19 in the nation (above average) for lack of treatment at 19%. Nationally, 21.1% of cases receive no treatment.

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. In Michigan, the report shows that Indigenous Peoples are most likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer.
“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 Charlie Gagen, advocacy director at the Lung Association. While the “State of Lung Cancer” report findings show significant work needs 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

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