NJ Among Best in Nation for Lung Cancer Surgery and Survival

The 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report, released by the American Lung Association, reveals that New Jersey is 4th in the nation for lung cancer surgery. This means that the state is among the best in the nation for surgery as part of its first course of treatment, though more work is needed to reduce the burden of lung cancer. The 6th annual report highlights the toll of lung cancer in New Jersey and examines key indicators including new cases, survival, early diagnosis, surgical treatment, lack of treatment and screening rates.

The report also found that New Jersey ranked below average for lung cancer screening (38 out of 51) and is among the top tier for lung cancer survival at 8 out of 42 states measured. Black individuals in the state are 31% more likely to not receive lung cancer treatment, 30% less likely to receive surgery as the first course of treatment and both Black Americans and Pacific Islanders are 26% less likely to be diagnosed early than white individuals at 21.6% and 21.7% respectively.

Nationally, the “State of Lung Cancer” report found that lung cancer survival rates are improving for everyone, including people of color. In fact, the five-year lung cancer survival rate for people of color has increased by 17% in the last two years, helping close the health disparity gap.

“Thankfully, here in New Jersey, the lung cancer survival rate has improved because of increased awareness, improved access to healthcare and cutting-edge research into new treatments for the disease,” said Michael Seilback, national assistant vice president, state public policy at the American Lung Association. “However, lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer deaths here in New Jersey and across the nation, and our recent report makes it clear that we have more work to do to increase lung cancer screening and make sure that no one is left behind in efforts to improve lung cancer survival.”

The report found that New Jersey ranked:

  1. The national rate is 54.6 per 100,000.
  2. The national rate of people alive five years after a lung cancer diagnosis is 26.6%.
  3. Nationally, only 26.6% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the survival rate is much higher.
  4. Lung cancer screening with annual low-dose CT scans for those at high risk can reduce the lung cancer death rate by up to 20%. Nationally, only 4.5% of those at high risk were screened.
  5. Lung cancer can often be treated with surgery if it is diagnosed at an early stage and has not spread. Nationally, 20.8% of cases underwent surgery.
  6. Nationally, 20.6% of cases receive no treatment.
  7. Nationally 13.5% of adults are current smokers.
  8. Ranks 8 out of 51 in the nation for radon test results lower than EPA recommended action level, placing it in the top tier compared to other states, with a relatively low percentage of results worse than the EPA guideline.

The 2023 “State of Lung Cancer” report highlights that New Jersey must do more to reduce the burden of lung cancer and encourages everyone to help end lung cancer. Join the Lung Association’s efforts by asking your member of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 4286, the Increasing Access to Lung Cancer Screening Act at

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