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Report: Iowa Has Below Average Rates Of Survival For Lung Cancer

Andres Siimon
A new report from the American Lung Association found Iowans have below average rates of survival for lung cancer.

A new report by the American Lung Association has found Iowa has below average rates of survival, surgery and early diagnosis for lung cancer.

The third annual “State of Lung Cancer” report from the American Lung Association says Iowa ranks below the national average for rates of survival, surgery and early diagnosis.

Alyssa DePhillips, a health promotions specialist with the American Lung Association, said the state needs to increase prevention efforts to improve survival rates.

"The survival rates are lower, because the cancer isn't prevented as much," she said. "It's not caught as early. And when it's caught early, then surgical treatment can be the first treatment option before it spreads."

DePhillips said improving access to screenings can help detect the disease early and improve survival rates.

The report found Iowa does have above average rates for lung cancer screenings. But only about one in ten Iowans who qualify for a screening, get one, compared to the national average of 6 percent.

For the first time, the report also looked at the disease along racial and ethnic lines, and found people of color in Iowa are more likely to face worse outcomes when diagnosed with lung cancer.

Black Iowans are the least likely to receive surgery.

DePhillips said the report found people of color face worse outcomes despite being less likely to be diagnosed with the illness than white Iowans.

"Those who are, face worse outcomes and they're less likely to be diagnosed early, less likely to receive surgical treatment and more likely to receive no treatment," she said.

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