Lung cancer is one of the leading chronic diseases affecting Floridians. In 2018, more than 18,700 Florida residents were expected to be diagnosed with lung cancer. During this same period, officials estimated more than 11,700 would die from the disease, said Brenda Olsen, American Lung Association Southeast Region Chief Mission Officer.

The earlier one is diagnosed with lung cancer, the less time the disease has to spread to other organs, and the better the individual’s chances of survival. Unfortunately, in Florida, only 20% of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at this critical early stage, according to the American Lung Association.

Between 2012 and 2016, more Floridians died of lung cancer than any other type of cancer. The death rate was more than 40%, according to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Statistics Center. The second leading cause of cancer deaths, female breast cancer, was only 19%.

Decreasing Lung Cancer Diagnosis Rates in Florida

This chronic disease doesn’t only affect the well-being of Florida’s residents. It also affects the state’s economy.

Getting the care one needs to treat the disease, including chemotherapy and lab services, is expensive. In a June 2018 study published in PharmacoEconomics – Open Access Journals, the estimated cost of treating small cell lung cancer, the most aggressive type of lung carcinoma, was more than $10,700.

Then there’s the impact the disease has on the individual’s productivity, as well as the time their caregiver has to put into ensuring their loved one gets the proper care and treatment.

To help Florida protect its residents from this deadly and costly chronic disease, the American Lung Association recently released its first LUNG FORCE “State of Lung Cancer” report. The report included statistics of lung cancer rates in Florida, as well as recommendations for decreasing diagnoses and increasing survival rates. They included:

  • Reducing risk factors like smoking and exposure to radon gas by increasing tobacco taxes and improving radon testing and mitigation efforts.
  • Increasing the number of accredited lung cancer screening sites to promote earlier detection and diagnosis.
  • Offering aggressive treatment options for those living with the disease, including surgery.

Florida is already a leader when it comes to offering surgical treatment options. According to the American Lung Association, 21.3 percent of Floridians diagnosed with lung cancer underwent surgery during their initial treatment. This put Florida among the top 15 states attempting to beat this serious chronic disease by removing the tumor, which can increase the chances of survival, especially when the diagnosis is made at an early stage.

Florida Assisted Living Communities Offering Advanced Lung Cancer Care

Lung cancer can cause many physical complications, including shortness of breath, weight loss and bone pain, according to the Mayo Clinic. There’s also an emotional impact to living with this chronic disease. A report published in the European Respiratory Journal said that anxiety and depression are common emotional side effects in people with lung cancer. Because of these emotional and physical drains, many people with the disease have trouble going about their daily lives.

If you have concerns about your ability to care for a loved with lung cancer, know that you don’t have to do this alone. Many Florida assisted living communities offer advanced care for people living with chronic diseases like lung cancer.

At Sonata Senior Living, for example, many communities provide both assisted living and licensed nursing services. This empowers our team to help every resident get the daily care they need without having to leave the community.

To learn more about our advanced approach to caring for Floridians with lung cancer and other chronic diseases, schedule a visit →

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