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New study finds most eligible US adults are not getting screened for lung cancer

ACS researchers stress initiatives to expand access to healthcare and screening facilities to improve early detection and treatment for lung cancer.

A new study announced June 10, led by American Cancer Society researchers, shows less than one-in-five eligible individuals in the United States were up to date (UTD) with recommended . The screening uptake was much lower in persons without health insurance or usual source of care and in Southern states with the highest lung cancer burden. The findings are published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Internal Medicine.

“Although lung cancer screening rates continue to be considerably low, this research does show an improvement over screening rates reported for previous years,” said Dr. Priti Bandi, scientific director, cancer risk factors and screening surveillance research at ACS. “But we clearly, still have a long way to go. We must push harder to move the needle in the right direction.”

“Early detection with LCS is critical because lung cancer symptoms often don't appear in the early stages, but when diagnosed and treated early, survival is markedly improved,” added Bandi. “National and state-based initiatives to expand access to healthcare and screening facilities are needed to continue to improve, prevention, early detection and treatment for lung cancer to help save lives.”

ACS’ advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), continues to work at all levels of government to advocate for access to lung cancer screenings. “This research further amplifies the critical need for reducing all barriers to access to care to ensure people are able to immediately utilize preventive and early detection screenings at no cost,” said Lisa Lacasse, president of the ACS CAN. “Expanding Medicaid in the 10 states that have yet to do so would significantly improve access to these lifesaving screenings and decrease lung cancer deaths, as well as eliminating patient costs for screening and follow-up tests by all payers, bringing us closer to ending cancer as we know it, for everyone.”

Other ACS researchers contributing to the study include Jessica StarTyler Kratzer and Dr. Robert SmithDr. Ahmedin Jemal is senior author of the research.

For information on tobacco cessation, read here

Several media outlets covered the news, including Newsday.

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