HAP's Latest News

How Pennsylvania Fared in New Lung Cancer Report

November 21, 2022

Pennsylvania ranks in the middle of the pack for new cases of lung cancer, but has seen significant improvement in case rates and early diagnosis in recent years.

A new report from the American Lung Association examines recent trends in lung cancer and underscores the importance of screening to diagnose cancer before it advances to later stages.

The 2022 “State of Lung Cancer” report indicates that less than 6 percent of eligible Americans have been screened for lung cancer, and some states have screening rates as low as 1 percent. About 237,000 lung cancer cases are diagnosed annually.

“While lung cancer screening remains underutilized, our new report revealed continued progress for lung cancer survival,” said Harold Wimmer, national president and CEO for the American Lung Association. “The lung cancer five-year survival rate is now 25 percent and increased 21 percent from 2014 to 2018.”

Among the key takeaways for Pennsylvania:

  • Diagnosis, case rates: During the last five years, the early diagnosis rate in Pennsylvania has improved by 14 percent and the rate of new cases has improved by 10 percent.
    • The commonwealth’s rate of new lung cancer cases is 62 per 100,000, which ranks 33rd in the U.S.
  • Importance of screening:  In Pennsylvania, 9 percent of those at high risk were screened, which was significantly higher than the national rate (6%).
    • The best state in the country for lung cancer screening was Massachusetts (16.3 percent).
  • Disparities:  The new lung cancer case rate was 73 per 100,000 among Black Pennsylvanians, which is significantly higher than the national average (59 per 100,000).
    • The report notes that Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders are least likely to be diagnosed early in Pennsylvania.
  • Survival rates:  Pennsylvania’s five-year lung cancer survival is 27 percent, which is significantly higher than the national rate (25%)
  • Quotable:  “Despite the early diagnosis rate in Pennsylvania falling into the average tier, the state still has a lot of work to do to make sure that more of those at high risk for lung cancer are screened,” the report notes.

HAP joins the American Lung Association to encourage everyone who is eligible for lung cancer screening to speak with their doctor about it. Learn more about the latest screening guidelines and find out if you are eligible.

The report and Pennsylvania data are available to review online.