Methodist in the Media

Nebraska Lags in Lung Cancer Screening Among High-Risk Groups

Published: Nov. 15, 2023

While lung cancer remains the deadliest form of cancer both in Nebraska and nationally, survival rates are improving among all groups, according to an American Lung Association report released Tuesday.

But Nebraska lags when it comes to using a key tool — screening high-risk groups with annual, low-dose CT scans — that could help further improve patients’ chances of survival.

Nebraska ranked 33rd among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in screening high-risk residents, with just 3.7% of that group getting scanned. Nationally, the rate isn’t much higher at 4.5%, according to the State of Lung Cancer report.

By detecting the disease at an earlier stage when it’s more easily treated, screening can reduce the lung cancer death rate by up to 20%, according to the report.

Dr. Sumit Mukherjee, a pulmonologist with Methodist Physicians Clinic and Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs, said adoption of lung cancer screening has been slower to catch on than screening for other cancers.

“Having someone to triage them (patients) and find out which are higher risk is key, and that’s just not something that’s available a lot of places,” he said.

Omaha World Herald: Nebraska Lags in Lung Cancer Screening Among High-Risk Groups