Lung Cancer Screening

A smoker holds his cigarette 

Despite Delaware improving its new lung cancer cases by almost 20% over the past five years, it still has significantly higher rates than the national average, according to the "State of Lung Cancer 2020" report from the American Lung Association. 

New Cases

Delaware ranks in 39th overall for new cases, at 67.4 cases per 100,000 residents in the state. While that's 19.3% better than the previous five years, the national average is 58.7. 

Cases were slightly lower among Black citizens, at 65.9, which was "not significantly different" than the rate of 61.1 nationally, and "not significantly different than the 70.5 rate among whites in Delaware, officials said. 

Among Delaware's Latinos, that rate was 28.6, on par with 29.9 nationally, and 25.6 among Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders, not significantly different than the rate of 34.6 nationally, though both significantly lower than other demographics. 

Data for other racial groups was unavailable due to a lack of cases over the studied time period. 

Survival Rates and Treatment

While Delaware may have ranked lower in rates of new cases, survival rates ranked higher than the national average, placing it in the upper echelon of the mid-tier. In the First State, 23.1 % of people survived lung cancer over a five-year period. 

A change in survivability was unavailable. 

Lung cancers are more frequently caught at later stages (47%) than at earlier stages (22.9%). Catching cancer early is important, as the survivability rate of 59% shadows over the 6% survivability rate when it's in a late stage. 

Delaware ranks 5th nationally in survivability when cancer is caught at an early stage at 26%, "significantly higher" than the 22.9% national average. 

Surgery as part of initial lung cancer treatment leads to higher survival rates. Delaware saw 18.4% of cases needing surgery as the first course of treatment, ranking it 39th nationally with the country's average standing t 20.6%.

While surgery wasn't possible for everyone, Delaware ranked near the middle for individuals receiving no treatment for their diagnosed lung cancer at 15.5%, putting it 24th nationally and in line with the overall 15.2%. 

Visit this link for more information on Delaware's breakdown in the "State of Lung Cancer 2020" report.