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Insights from the American Lung Association’s 2021 State of Lung Cancer Report

Jan 07 2022


The American Lung Association recently released its 2021 State of Lung Cancer report. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide because the disease is often diagnosed at the late stages. Early diagnosis of lung nodules can help patients get treatment sooner and improve long-term survival rates. Auris is committed to fighting this deadly disease by helping physicians diagnose lung tumors in the early stages when they are small but difficult to reach. Using robotic technology, the MONARCH® Platform provides physicians with precision and continuous visualization to reach and diagnose nodules deep in the lung.

To highlight the importance of lung cancer screening, Auris is sharing key insights from the report, and which groups may be at a higher risk for the disease.

Important Statistics from the Report

Just how common is lung cancer, and who is at risk? You might be surprised to learn some of these facts from the American Lung Association.

  • In the United States, someone is diagnosed with lung cancer about every 2.5 minutes. It is estimated that close to 236,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year.1
  • Each day, lung cancer takes the lives of more than 382 people.1
  • Currently, the national 5-year survival rate after a lung cancer diagnosis is 23.7%. However, the survival rate is significantly lower in communities of color (20%) and Black Americans (18%).1
  • The 5-year survival rate is much higher (60%) when lung cancer is diagnosed in the early stages. Unfortunately, only 24% of cases in the U.S. are diagnosed in the early stages.1
  • Annual screening of high-risk populations can help with early diagnosis of lung nodules, potentially reducing the lung cancer death rate by up to 20%.1 The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) expanded its recommendation for lung cancer screening in March 2021 to include:
    • People aged 50-80 years.1
    • People with a smoking history of 20 or more “pack years,” meaning those who smoked 1 pack a day for 20 years, 2 packs a day for 10 years, etc.1
    • Current smokers or those who quit within the last 15 years.1
  • The good news is that the national lung cancer survival rate in the U.S. has increased by 14.5%.1

New Lung Cancer Cases by State

While the overall survival rate has increased, the rate of new cases varies quite a lot from state to state. The national rate of new cases per 100,000 people is 58 cases. Some states did much better than that rate, and some had worse rates than the national average. (Note: This data includes all 50 U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia.)2

3 Best States for New Lung Cancer Cases

Number 1: Utah – rate of new lung cancer cases is 26
Number 2: New Mexico – rate of new lung cancer cases is 37
Number 3: California – rate of new lung cancer cases is 41

3 Worst States for New Lung Cancer Cases2

Number 51: Kentucky – rate of new lung cancer cases is 89
Number 50: West Virginia - rate of new lung cancer cases is 79
Number 49: Arkansas – rate of new lung cancer cases is 77

What Can We Do to Improve These Statistics?

Based on the statistics from the American Lung Association, early diagnosis of lung nodules is critical to long-term survival rates with lung cancer. At Auris, our mission is to enable clinicians to complete diagnostic procedures for nodules deep within the lung through robotic bronchoscopy. The MONARCH® platform allows physicians to reach lung nodules near the rib cage via a minimally invasive procedure called bronchoscopy using robotic technology. It was designed to minimize the risks associated with more invasive diagnostic procedures for hard-to-reach lung nodules.

If you or a family member are within the high-risk population noted by the USPSTF, talk to your doctor about lung cancer screening. We have several resources available in our Patients section to help you learn more about lung nodules and how to find a physician.

You can also minimize your risk of lung cancer by avoiding tobacco use. The leading risk factor for lung cancer, tobacco use accounts for 80-90% of cases.1
Find resources on how to quit smoking.3

We encourage you to share this information with family and friends who may have an increased risk of developing lung cancer. By empowering each other with information, we can help people seek out screening in earlier stages and lessen the impact of this devastating disease.


References:
1. American Lung Association. 2021 State of Lung Cancer Report, 16 November 2021. Accessed 20 Nov. 2021.
2. American Lung Association. State Data, 16 November 2021. Accessed 20 Nov. 2021.
3. American Lung Association. Quit Smoking. Accessed 20 Nov. 2021.


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