Kentucky has the highest lung cancer rates in the nation

Kentucky has the highest lung cancer rates in the nation
In Kentucky, the survival rate for lung cancer is just 17.6%.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A new report shows Kentucky has the highest lung cancer rates nationwide, as well as low survival rates.

The report from the American Lung Association shows the state ranks well, however, for lung cancer screening rates.

The report, titled “State of Lung Cancer,” tackles the issue of lung cancer across the United States. It reveals there is an increasing percentage of patients surviving the disease, as the five-year rate of 21.7% is up from 10 years ago when the rate was at just 17.2%.

In Kentucky, the survival rate is still just 17.6%.

Shannon Baker, the director of advocacy for the American Lung Association, hopes the numbers improve.

“While we celebrate that more Americans than ever are surviving lung cancer, the disease remains the leading cause of cancer deaths,” Baker said. “Much more can and must be done in Kentucky to prevent the disease and support families facing the disease.”

Baker says lung cancer is extremely deadly because most people don’t get diagnosed with it until it is too late; only 21.5% of cases in the U.S. are diagnosed early.

Kentucky, though, ranks fourth-best in the country for lung cancer screenings at a rate of 10.3%.

“There is much more work that needs to be done,” Baker said. “We’re pushing for greater awareness of this test to save more lives here in Kentucky.”

Read more of the “State of Lung Cancer” report at

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