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Delaware makes strides in lung cancer survival, screening, and early diagnosis

American Lung Association

The American Lung Association’s 2023 State of Lung Cancer report shows Delaware in the top half of the nation for lung cancer survival, screening, and early diagnosis.

The 6th annual report Delaware ranks above average nationally for lung cancer survival, says American Lung Association chief mission officer Deb Brown.

"So here in Delaware the lung cancer survival rate has improved because of increased awareness and improved access to health care and cutting edge research for new treatments to the disease,” said Brown. “We are ranked number 12 in the nation for survival at 28.3%, and so we are seeing a 31% improvement over the last 5 years here in Delaware."

The national rate of people alive five years after a lung cancer diagnosis is 26.6%.

Delaware ranked 18th for lung cancer screening at 6.3% and 10th for early diagnosis at 28.4% compared to 4.5% and 26.6% nationally.

The American Lung Association notes that annual low-dose CT scans for those at high risk reduces the lung cancer death rate by up to 20%.

In Delaware, 6.3% of people are eligible to be screened. The guidelines to be screened include being between the ages of 50 and 80, smoke a pack a day for 20 years or 2 packs a day for 10 years, and they’re a current smoker or a smoker within the last 15 years.

The report also found Black people are 20% less likely to be diagnosed early than white people.

"We just need to make sure that we are providing access to individuals so that they know where to go, they know where they can get screened. We need to make sure that we're reaching out to people where they are, and making sure that we're having conversations with individuals," said Brown.

Delaware is also 27 out of 48 in the nation for the rate of new lung cancer cases at 57.4 per 100,000 people - a 32% improvement over the last five years.

The state is also 25 out of 47 for lack of treatment at 19.6%. Nationally, 20.6% of cases receive no treatment.

And Delaware is 23 out of 51 for adults who are smokers at 13.4% compared to 13.5 % nationally.

The report can be found at

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.