Connecticut has second highest lung cancer survival rate

March 5, 2018 GMT

Connecticut lung cancer patients have some the highest survival rates and rates of early diagnosis in the country, according to a new report from the American Lung Association.

The association’s inaugural LUNG FORCE State of Lung Cancer report examining national and state lung cancer statistics and marks the first time these numbers have been analyzed in a single report to show how the toll of lung cancer varies across the country.

Roughly 2,700 people in Connecticut are expected to be diagnosed with lung cancer this year, and roughly 1,500 are projected to die from the illness, according to the lung association. Nationwide, more than 234,000 are expected to be diagnosed this year.

When it came to the incidence of lung cancer, Connecticut was in the middle of the pack, ranking 27 among the states, with an incidence of 63.5 per 100,000 people. But it was in other areas that the state stood out. Connecticut had the second-highest five-year survival rate in the country, with an average of 23.8 percent of lung cancer patients in the state surviving at least five years after diagnosis. New York had the highest rate, at 24 percent.

Connecticut also had the third highest rate of early diagnosis of lung cancer, with an average of 21.8 percent of lung cancers in the state diagnosis at an early stage, when they are most likely to be curable. That’s higher than the nationwide average of 18.9 percent.

The state also ranked third highest in the availability of screening centers, and at the second-highest rate of lung cancer patients who underwent surgery.

“Connecticut has a wealth of resources for lung cancer patients, including access to screening centers and surgical treatment - so its’s no surprise that the survival rate is as high as it is,” said Ruth Canovi, the Lung Association’s Director of Public Policy in Connecticut in a news release. “Stronger state level policies limiting exposure to risk factors like unhealthy air, secondhand smoke, tobacco products and radon could help close the gap on the lung cancer incidence rate. We know what it takes to reduce the burden of lung cancer on Connecticut residents, and now it’s up to the State to act.”