Survey reveals most Americans are not concerned about getting the disease
Here in Florida and across the nation, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths, however, survey data released today show that only 40 percent of Americans are concerned that they might get lung cancer and only about one in five has talked to their doctor about their risk for the disease. For World Lung Cancer Day, the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative released the 2022 Lung Health Barometer, a national survey that examines awareness, attitudes, and beliefs about lung cancer.
Here in Florida, it is estimated that 19,560 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2022, and 10,440 people will die from the disease. But there is hope. The lung cancer survival rate has risen substantially, and awareness of this deadly disease has steadily increased. Greater awareness of lung cancer is key to securing research funding, encouraging lung cancer screening, reducing stigma around this disease, and ultimately, saving lives.
“One of the most impactful things we can do in Florida is to raise awareness about lifesaving lung cancer screening. Currently, only 3 percent of residents at high risk for lung cancer have received a low-dose CT scan lung cancer screening,” said Janelle Hom, executive director, American Lung Association. “Perhaps an earlier diagnosis would have extended my mother’s life, as she passed away from lung cancer. Lung cancer screening is key to early diagnosis, and early diagnosis saves lives.”
While awareness about lung cancer screening is still low, there has been significant work done recently to increase eligibility. Last year, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force expanded the guidelines for screening to include individuals ages 50 to 80 years who have a 20 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. This nearly doubled the number of individuals eligible for screening and has the potential to save significantly more lives than previous guidelines. Learn more about lung cancer screening at SavedbytheScan.org.
The 2022 Lung Health Barometer surveyed 4,000 Americans nationwide about lung cancer. Key findings show that:
Only about one in four respondents (26 percent) were aware that the lung cancer survival rate increased by over 30 percent in the past ten years.
73 percent of adults have not spoken with their doctor about their risk for lung cancer and only 40 percent are concerned they might get the disease.
Only 29 percent of Americans know that lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in the U.S.
Nearly 70 percent of respondents were not familiar with the availability of lung cancer screening for early detection of the disease.
This is the seventh year of the Lung Health Barometer, which is conducted by the Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative. LUNG FORCE unites those impacted by lung cancer and their caregivers across the country to stand together against lung cancer.
Local events like Lip Sync for Lungs are helping to fund education and resources for this strategic imperative. We welcome Orlando residents to visit LipSyncforLungsOrlando.org. to learn more about this event. Lip Sync for Lungs Battle V Presented by AdventHealth Orlando will take place November 5th at Brook Run Park at 9:00 am. Tickets are available to purchase for this epic showdown that includes live performances from local celebrities and is designed to raise awareness of and funds for lung disease research, education, and advocacy.
See more Lung Health Barometer survey results here.