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A new study reports that lung cancer screening rates at the state level were inconsistent with lung cancer exposure. The report, which appears in JNCI: The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, includes the first population-based screening data at the state level for all 50 states and finds that lung cancer screening rates vary by state by geography.

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. An estimated 135,720 deaths are expected in 2020. Lung cancer screening with low-dose CT (LDCT) can reduce cancer deaths and has been recommended for people with a heavy history of smoking since 2013. However, previous studies show that they are underused. For this study, researchers led by Dr. Stacey Fedewa of the American Cancer Society, co-authored by members of the National Lung Cancer Roundtable, Lung Cancer Screening with LDCT Rates and Growth in all 50 states, including Washington DC, from 2016 to 2016-2018. They also looked at how that States’ lung cancer screening rates correlated with lung cancer exposure, sociodemographic status, and access to lung cancer screening.

“The increasing but low use of lung cancer screening reflects both ongoing efforts to screen eligible adults and the many challenges involved,” said Dr. Fedewa. “Kentucky, which has supported efforts to implement screening, is unique in that its screening rates are more than double the national average and four times higher than other high-risk states such as West Virginia and Arkansas.”

The results show that several northeastern states with lower lung cancer rates (e.g. Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire with 50 lung cancer deaths per 100,000) had lower screening rates (

The authors say their results show that while overall lung cancer screening rates increased nationwide between 2016 and 2018, they were still low in 2018. Only 5-6% of eligible adults in the United States received a low-dose lung cancer CT scan (LDCT). Compared to the national average, screening rates were lower in 8 states, mainly in the West or South, and 50% higher in 13 states, mainly in the Northeast or Midwest, with Kentucky as the outlier.

The study also found that when compared to the national average, lung cancer screening rates were around 20% in states with high proportions of uninsured adults who smoked and around 40% in states with relatively low numbers of lung cancer screening facilities % were lower. This suggests that there may be critical gaps in access to lung cancer screening. According to socio-demographic factors, the screening rates correlated positively with the proportion of female smokers and negatively with Hispanic smokers. The results showed that states with adults who smoked and were of Spanish descent had significantly lower screening rates than the national average.

“Targeted efforts from various stakeholders including policy makers, cancer fighters, health systems and providers are needed to increase lung cancer screening rates in eligible adults with a heavy history of smoking. This group faces multiple barriers to lung cancer screening and cancer treatment faced. ” said the authors. “When states know what their lung cancer screening rates are, they can set a goal and track progress.”

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More information:
Stacey A Fedewa et al. Condition Variation in Low Dose CT Scanning for Lung Cancer Screening in the United States, JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2020). DOI: 10.1093 / jnci / djaa170 Provided by the American Cancer Society

Quote: First population-based study found lung cancer screening rates at the state level inconsistent with lung cancer exposure in the US (2020 Nov 12) and posted on Nov 12, 2020 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-11 -Population-based-Status-Level-Lung-Cancer-Screening.html

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