According to the CDC, Kentucky ranks first in the nation for lung cancer deaths. Border states Ohio and Indiana are ranked at numbers 11 and five.
In November 2019, the American Lung Association reported Kentucky has the highest rates of new lung cancer cases.
“Tobacco use in Kentucky is right now the second highest in the nation, and oftentimes depending on when you look, the highest in the nation,” said Shannon Baker, the director of advocacy for the American Lung Association in Kentucky.
Cincinnati.com reports that St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Englewood, Kentucky has seen a dramatic increase in lung cancer diagnoses and CT scans. The healthcare provider reports that is has performed 10,000 CT scans for lung cancer screenings since March 2019 and has found cancer in one out of every 62 scans performed.
Who needs a lung cancer screening?
Adults with the following histories need a yearly lung cancer screen:
- heavy smoker
- current smoker or have quit in the past 15 years
- all the above and are between the ages of 55 to 80
Reports do show that Kentucky is ranked #4 nationally in lung cancer screening, that 10.3% of high-risk lung cancer patients were screened compared to only 4.2% of high-risk patients nationally.