Kansas City gets mixed reviews for lung cancer rankings

Health

FILE – This March 28, 2019 photo shows cigarette butts in an ashtray in New York. On Tuesday, March 9, 2021. Lung cancer is the nation’s top cancer killer, causing more than 135,000 deaths each year. Smoking is the chief cause and quitting the best protection. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The American Lung Association released it’s annual “State of Lung Cancer” report. The metro area gets mixed reviews.

Missouri ranks fourth in the country for receiving lung cancer treatment after being diagnosed. But the state also ranks below average for survival rates, early diagnosis, and new lung cancer cases.

Another disturbing discovery in the report is that Black Americans living in Missouri are the least likely to receive surgical treatment following a lung cancer diagnosis.

This is the second year the report studied racial disparities when it comes to lung cancer diagnosis and treatments.

It found that people of color who are diagnosed with lung cancer have worse outcomes than white Americans. The American Lung Association also found that the lung cancer five-year survival rate increased as much as 23% for white Americans, but is still significantly lower for people of color.

The report also shows that Kansas is below average and among the worst in the country when it comes to high radon test results. The tests are recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency because Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

The report’s authors said there is a lot of work that still needs to be done, but progress is being made. Last year, Kansas made lung cancer screenings available at no cost to all Medicaid recipients in the state who are at high risk for lung cancer.

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