Only 40% of Americans Concerned About Lung Cancer: Survey Shows

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Despite lung cancer being the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, a new survey shows that many Americans are unaware of their risk for the disease and do not take steps to protect themselves. The American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative released the 2022 Lung Health Barometer on Monday, which examines awareness, attitudes and beliefs about lung cancer. According to the survey, only 40% of Americans are concerned that they might get lung cancer, and only about one in five have talked to their doctor about their risk.

Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, states that lung cancer’s burden on families, individuals and our healthcare system is far too great, and awareness about the disease is too low. In fact, only 29% of Americans know that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. This low awareness is due in part to an undeserved stigma that has followed lung cancer for decades.

The fact is that anyone can get lung cancer, and no one deserves it. The good news is that the lung cancer survival rate has risen substantially, and awareness of this deadly disease has steadily increased. Greater awareness of lung cancer is key to securing research funding, encouraging lung cancer screening, reducing stigma around this disease, and ultimately, saving lives. We all need to do our part to spread the word about the importance of early detection and prevention of lung cancer. Only then can we hope to make a dent in this disease’s tremendous toll on our society.

The 2022 Lung Health Barometer surveyed 4,000 Americans nationwide about lung health and lung cancer, and yielded some alarming results. Fewer than one in four respondents were aware that the lung cancer survival rate increased by over 30% in the past ten years. Even more concerning, nearly three-quarters of adults have not spoken with their doctor about their risk for lung cancer and only 40% are concerned they might get the disease.

These findings underscore the need for more education about lung cancer and its risk factors. Additionally, the survey found that only 29% of Americans know that lung cancer is the leading cancer killer. This is likely due in part to the fact that nearly 70% of respondents were not familiar with the availability of lung cancer screening for early detection of the disease. With such low levels of awareness, it is clear that more needs to be done to educate Americans about this deadly disease.

The Lung Health Barometer survey provides insight into the health of America’s lungs. See more results here to learn more about how your lungs compare.

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