PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The five-year lung cancer survival rate is now at 25%, making what experts call “remarkable progress,” but it’s still the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States.

According to a new report from the American Lung Association, the rate of new lung cancer cases is higher in Rhode Island than the national average. However, the lung cancer survival rate in Rhode Island is the best in the nation at 30.8%.

“Lung cancer screening is key to early diagnosis, and early diagnosis saves lives. Here in Rhode Island, we have the highest 5-year survival rate in the nation and one of the highest rates of new lung cancer cases, which makes these lifesaving screenings are more important than ever,” said Daniel Fitzgerald, Director of Advocacy at the American Lung Association in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island ranks second in the nation, only behind Massachusetts, for lung cancer screening, according to the report.

The American Lung Association says screening for lung cancer with annual low-dose CT for those at high risk can reduce the lung cancer death rate by up to 20%.

“We all can help reduce the burden of lung cancer in Rhode Island. If you are eligible for lung cancer screening, we encourage you to speak with your doctor about it. If a loved one is eligible, please encourage them to get screened,” Fitzgerald added.

The report found that Rhode Island ranked:

  • 43 in the nation for rate of new lung cancer cases at 68.5 per 100,000. The national rate is 56.7 per 100,000.
  • 1 in the nation for survival at 30.8%. The national rate of people alive five years after a lung cancer diagnosis is 25%.
  • 3 in the nation for early diagnosis at 30.4%. Nationally, only 25.8% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage when the survival rate is much higher.
  • 2 in the nation for lung cancer screening at 13.4%. Lung cancer screening with annual low-dose CT scans for those at high risk can reduce the lung cancer death rate by up to 20%. Nationally, only 5.8% of those at high risk were screened.
  • 3 in the nation for surgery at 28.3%. Lung cancer can often be treated with surgery if it is diagnosed at an early stage and has not spread. Nationally, 20.8% of cases underwent surgery.
  • 2 in the nation for lack of treatment at 14%. Nationally, 20.6% of cases receive no treatment.

The report says Rhode Island must, “do more to reduce the burden of lung cancer and encourages everyone to join the effort to end lung cancer.”