North Dakota Ranks Among Top States in Lung Cancer Survival Rates

American Lung Association releases report that puts North Dakota in Top 25% in Diagnosis, Survival Rates

FARGO, N.D. — At Essentia Health in Fargo, lung cancer is the second highest diagnosed cancer among men and the third highest among women.

The American Lung Association says North Dakota ranks among the states with the lowest rate of lung cancer patients nationwide. The Peace Garden State also falls among the top 25% percent in the nation in lung cancer survival rate. The American Lung Association’s Director of Tobacco Control Reba Mathern-Jacobson says that a possible next step to lower the number further is by lowering the tobacco tax, which is currently 44 cents per a twenty pack of cigarettes.

“Cigarette smoking is somehow a cumulative effect, it is after a certain amount of time it starts to cause this transformation of the lung,” said Dr. Ersin Unal, a Medical Oncologist and Hematologist at Essentia Health in Fargo.

More than 234,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year. Men tend to be diagnosed more often than women.

Doctors recommend that smokers between the ages of 55 and 70 and those who have been smoking for 30 years should go and get a preliminary lung cancer screening.

“The sooner we could get a patient in to get help and get screened and detect lung cancer, the better off it is, so the screening and detection of lung cancer, the sooner you can actually get lung cancer detected, the better off their outcomes are,” said Sharri Lacher, a Clinical Nurse Specialist for Sanford Health.

In North Dakota, 57 people for every one hundred thousand were diagnosed with lung cancer.

That ranks North Dakota eleventh out of fifty states and the District of Columbia.

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