Here’s Why You Don’t Want To Have Lung Cancer In Alabama

The cases of lung cancer have been declining in the U.S. and more people are surviving the disease. However, Alabama residents may have a different experience. 

A new report by American Lung Association shows that between 2012 and 2016, the rate of newly diagnosed lung cancer decreased by 19 percent nationwide. The five-year survival rate among Americans increased from 21.7 percent to 26.4 percent.

The association analyzed data provided by the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers looked into lung cancer survival rates across 50 states as well as incidence rates, treatment options and screening rates.

However, researchers noted lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. despite the progress seen over the past decade. They added chances of surviving the disease also depend on where the patient lives.

"The report found that lung cancer rates for every measure vary significantly by state, and that every state can do more to defeat lung cancer, such as increasing the rate of screening among those at high risk, addressing disparities in receipt of treatment, decreasing exposure to radon and secondhand smoke and eliminating tobacco use," researchers wrote in the report.

Alabama is one of the states with low chances of living after developing lung cancer. The state saw a significant increase to 66.7 percent in the number of new cases over the past decade. 

Alabama residents are also less likely to survive the disease. The American Lung Association report shows the chance of surviving lung cancer at least five years after diagnosis in the state is only 16.8 percent, compared to the national rate of 21.7 percent. 

Experts said early detection plays an important role in the treatment of lung cancer. If diagnosed early, the patient may respond well with treatments and have higher chances of surviving. 

However, the report shows only 20 percent of lung cancer cases in Alabama are caught early. The state also ranked as one of the worst states for treating lung cancer patients. 

hospital patient A patient receiving treatment at a hospital. Pixabay