Albert Rizzo, MD, on the State of Lung Cancer 2020

In this 3-minute video, Albert Rizzo, MD, talks about the latest State of Lung Cancer report, which states had the highest and lowest rates of lung cancer, and how lung cancer affected communities of color in the United States.

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Albert Rizzo, MD, is the chief medical officer for the American Lung Association.



I’m Dr Albert Rizzo. I'm the chief medical officer for the American Lung Association.

We have just launched our third State of Lung Cancer report. This has been the annual one. This provides data not previously reported or available in other reports with important new results on lung cancer disparities among racial and ethnic groups as well.

We believe this report will provide policymakers, researchers, health care practitioners, and really anyone committed to ending lung cancer, giving them a foundation for identifying where their state can be best in its resources to decrease the burden of lung cancer.

The nationwide burden of lung cancer is large, but we know it's not the same everywhere. This report files. There are more things that states can do to turn the tide against the terrible disease and save more lives.

The measures that we have compiled, and ranked were possible, include new cases, survival, early diagnosis, surgical treatment, lack of treatment, screening rates, and also data on coverage on Medicaid fee-for-service programs in each state.

Through this report, we hope to empower the public with information that can leverage, to start the local change that we need to see. And since knowledge is power, these data can be a galvanizing force for policy change.

Included in our state of lung cancer report, we have a page called “the top and bottom states” by these measures. So, if we look at new cases, for example, the top state that had the lowest number of new cases was Utah. The bottom state that had the greatest number of cases was Kentucky. That seems to correlate with smoking preferences as well across the country. Many times that mirrors the rates of lung cancer.

People of color are less likely than whites to be diagnosed with lung cancer, but those who are diagnosed face worse outcomes because they're less likely to be diagnosed early, they're less likely to receive surgical treatment in that regard, and they’re more likely to not even receive treatment.

And this goes across the board, whether you're looking at Blacks, Hispanics, Latinos, Asian-Pacifics, and Indigenous populations. And that's really well spelled out with the different finite statistical differences in the report, but what it does show is that, unfortunately, social determinants of health make a difference with regard to people being able to have access to the proper screening techniques and certainly access to get the right physician and have the right dialogue with them to receive the optimal treatment in their situation.

Thank you for talking about our state of lung cancer report today. There's a lot more information you can get about the report, as well as the Lung Association, by going to our website Thank you.

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