Black Americans in Pa. more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer, report finds


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM)- The American Lung Association released its findings on its “State of Lung Cancer” report. It examines the toll of lung cancer in Pennsylvania and ways to save more lives.

One key finding from the report revealed that black Americans in Pennsylvania are more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer.

The report reveals that the lung cancer five-year survival rate increased 14.5% nationally to 23.7% yet remains significantly lower among communities of color. In fact, while the national lung cancer survival rate increased, it remains at only 20% for communities of color and 18% for Black Americans. In Pennsylvania, Black Americans are 17% more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer than white Americans.

Pennsylvania has some work to do when it comes to smoking. The state ranked 32 in the nation, among the worst for smoking and above the national average.

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The state ranked 13 in the nation for survival at 25.1%, which is above average and shows an 18% improvement in the past five years.

“In Pennsylvania specifically, we are 20 in the nation for early diagnosis, we’re about the national average and we have seen almost a 40% improvement over the past five years,” Molly Pisciottano, Director of Advocacy at the American Lung Association said. “Which is really great news in Pennsylvania, specifically that we’re seeing improvements in that early diagnosis so that we can continue to increase those survival rates as well.”

Through the report, the association is hoping to help more Pennsylvanians quit smoking, strengthen smoke-free laws, and ensure access to screenings.

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