MIAMI – Today, the American Lung Association in Florida released its 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report, which ﬁnds that the rate of lung cancer screening in Florida is far too low at 2.4%, compared to the national average of 4.5%. The 6th annual report highlights the toll of lung cancer in Florida and examines key indicators including new cases, survival, early diagnosis, surgical treatment, lack of treatment and screening rates.
The data underscore the urgent need for more high-risk people to be screened to increase survivorship. If lung cancer is caught early before it spreads, the likelihood of surviving 5 years or more improves to 63%.
The report also reveals health disparities, with Black individuals in Florida being least likely to receive surgery as the ﬁrst course of treatment. Additionally, Florida ranks poorly for early diagnosis. So, more work is needed to reduce the burden of lung cancer in the state. “ Thankfully, in Florida, the lung cancer survival rate has improved because of increased awareness, improved access to healthcare and cutting-edge research into new treatments for the disease,” said Mark Block, MD, Southeast Regional Board Member at the American Lung Association, and Chief, Division of Thoracic Surgery Program at Memorial Healthcare System. “However, lung cancer continues to be the leading cause of cancer deaths here in Florida and across the nation, and our recent report makes it clear that we have more work to do to increase lung cancer screening, improve treatment and address health disparities in communities of color.”
The report found that Florida ranks:
• 20 out of 48 in the nation for rate of new lung cancer cases at 54.7 per 100,000. The national rate is 54.6 per 100,000.
• 14 out of 42 in the nation for survival at 27.6%. The national rate of people alive ﬁve years after a lung cancer diagnosis is 26.6%.
• 37 out of 47 in the nation for early diagnosis at 24.9%. Nationally, only 26.6% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the survival rate is much higher.
• 42 out of 51 in the nation for lung cancer screening at 2.4%. 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 4.5% of those at high risk were screened.
• 20 out of 47 in the nation for surgery at 20.6%. 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.
• 43 out of 47 in the nation for lack of treatment at 25.6%. Nationally, 20.6% of cases receive no treatment.
• 29 out of 51 in the nation smoking at 14.7%. Nationally, 13.5% of adults currently smoke.
This report emphasizes the need for all Floridians to have access to quality and affordable healthcare coverage. Florida lawmakers have an opportunity to close the healthcare coverage gap.
Nationally, the “State of Lung Cancer” report ﬁnds that lung cancer survival rates are improving for everyone, including people of color. In fact, the ﬁve-year lung cancer survival rate for people of color has increased by 17% in the last two years, helping close the health disparity gap.
The 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report highlights that Florida must do more to reduce the burden of lung cancer and encourages everyone to help end lung cancer. Join the Lung Association’s efforts by asking your member of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 4286, the Increasing Access to Lung Cancer Screening Act at Lung.org/SOLC.
Get involved and help the mission of the American Lung Association. The LUNG FORCE Turquoise Takeover in South Florida, a multi-month campaign that kicks off in November for Lung Cancer Awareness Month, has ofﬁcially begun. To learn more and sign up, visit TurqouiseTakeoverChallenge.org.