Arkansas ranks low in lung cancer report

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 571 views 

Arkansas is ranked No. 49 for the rate of new lung cancer cases and No. 40 for the survival rate of the disease that remains the leading cause of cancer deaths, according to the 2022 “State of Lung Cancer” report.

The American Lung Association recently released the fifth annual report that compares U.S. states and Washington, D.C., using metrics such as new cases, survival, early diagnosis, surgical treatment, lack of treatment and screening rates. According to organization estimates, 2,820 Arkansans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2022, and 1,770 will die from it.

The state’s rate of new lung cancer cases has improved from the previous report but remains at more than 75 cases per 100,000 people, while the national rate is more than 56 per 100,000 people. The state’s five-year survival rate is 21.2%, while nationally, the rate has increased by 21% to 25% over five years.

Cigarette smoking and second-hand smoke comprise the top causes for lung cancer, and the state is No. 49 for current smokers at 20.5%. Nationally, 14.3% of adults are current smokers.

Arkansas is No. 16 for lack of treatment at 17.9%, while nationally, 20.6% of cases receive no treatment. Also, the state has improved to be in line with the national rate for early diagnosis at 25.8%. But, the state is No. 38 for lung cancer screening at 4.3%, while nationally, 5.8% of those at high risk for lung cancer received screening.

Currently, 14.2 million Americans meet the high-risk guidelines for screening: those 50 to 80 years old who smoked one pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years or two packs a day for 10 years and current smokers or have quit within the past 15 years.

“Lung cancer screening is key to early diagnosis, and early diagnosis saves lives,” said Laura Turner, senior manager, advocacy – Arkansas, Missouri, for the American Lung Association. “Unfortunately, here in Arkansas, not enough people are getting this lifesaving screening. We all can help reduce the burden of lung cancer in Arkansas. If you are eligible for lung cancer screening, we encourage you to speak with your doctor about it. If a loved one is eligible, please encourage them to get screened.”