The Access to Lung Cancer Screening Act would help more Idahoans survive

The American Lung Association in Idaho has released its 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report, which found that lung cancer screening in the state is far too low. Only 2.9 percent of Idahoans are getting screened. And if you want to address the burden of lung cancer in Idaho, the association says working to increase lung cancer screening is the key. This is the association’s sixth annual report. It highlights the toll that lung cancer takes on the state, and it examines key indicators, including new cases, survival rates, early diagnoses, surgical treatments, the lack of treatment and screening rates. The report also found that Idaho ranks ninth in the nation for new lung cancer cases and twentieth in survival. The report found that nationally, lung cancer survival rates are improving for everyone. But lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer deaths in Idaho. Idaho’s rate of lung cancer cases is 46.2 for every 100,000 persons. The national rate is 54.6. In Idaho, the rate of survival, meaning those who are still alive five years after a lung cancer diagnosis, is 26.1 percent. Nationally the rate is 26.6 percent. Idaho ranks 15th in the nation for early diagnosis at 27.9 percent, which is better than the national rate of 26.6. But the state ranks 36th for screening. The 2.9 percent rate previously mentioned is considerably below the national rate of 4.5 percent, which is still pretty low. In Idaho, 18.5 percent of lung cancer cases end up in surgery. Nationally it’s 20.8 percent. The association urges Idahoans to contact their members of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor House Resolution 4286, which is the Increasing Access to Lung Cancer Screening Act.