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'State of Lung Cancer' report finds Vermont cases among least likely to receive treatment

Date Published: 11/17/2020 [Source]

Vermont Business Magazine Lung cancer is the nation's leading cause of cancer deaths, and it's estimated that 570 Vermont residents will be diagnosed with this disease in 2020 alone. The 2020 "State of Lung Cancer" report examines the toll of lung cancer throughout the nation and outlines steps every state can take to better protect its residents from lung cancer.

While the report found that more Americans are surviving the disease, it also found that in Vermont, an astounding 19.7% of lung cancer cases receive no treatment, and only 18.7% of cases receive surgery as a first course of treatment.

Prevention Tobacco use is the leading risk factor for lung cancer. Smoking and secondhand smoke both have been shown to cause lung cancer.

The smoking rate in Vermont is 13.7% and significantly lower than the national rate of 15.5%. It ranks 10th among all states, placing it in the above average tier.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is a colorless and odorless gas that can seep into homes and buildings. Some geographical areas have naturally higher prevalence of high radon levels than others, but any home can have elevated levels. The US EPA has set an action level of 4 pCi/L. At or above this level of radon, the EPA recommends you take corrective measures to reduce your exposure to radon gas.

No counties in Vermont are considered Zone 1 which means they have predicted average indoor radon screening levels greater than 4 pCi/L.

12 counties in Vermont are considered Zone 2 which means they have predicted average indoor radon screening levels from 2 to 4 pCi/L.

Air Pollution is a known risk factor of lung cancer.

Summary Rate of New Cases: Average Tier Five-Year Survival Rate: Above Average Tier Early Diagnosis Rate: Average Tier Surgical Treatment Rate: Below Average Tier Lack of Treatment Rate: Below Average Tier Screening Rate: Top Tier Fee-For-Service Medicaid Coverage of Screening: Yes Highlighted Disparity: No racial disparities were found in Vermont for these lung cancer metrics .

Despite the early diagnosis rate in Vermont falling into the average tier, the state still has a lot of work to do to make sure that more of those at high risk for lung cancer are screened. When this rate increases, we can anticipate that the surgery rate would increase, as surgery is often the recommended treatment for those diagnosed at an earlier stage. In addition, when cases are found earlier, we would expect the five-year survival rate to increase.