ROCHESTER, N.Y. – (WROC) – Some good new when it comes to lung cancer treatment. A lot of it seems to be working. A new reports shows more people are surviving the disease with New York leading the nation in five-year survival rates.

Lung cancer is the number one killer of men and women in the United States. According to the American Lung Association more than 13,000 New Yorkers will be diagnosed with the disease this year alone. But new treatments are helping people beat the deadly disease.

Lung cancer us is so deadly because it’s often found after the disease has spread. Alice Pratt discovered she had lung cancer after she felt an odd sensation while brushing her hair.

“The source of the cancer was my lungs which really shocked me because I am a non smoker,” said Pratt, a stage 4 cancer survivor.

Every two minutes and twenty seconds someone in the U.S. will be diagnosed with lung cancer. Just a decade ago the chance for survival was slim. Now advancements in treatment are increasing the odds.

“We have been able to find targetable lesions in lung cancer and offer patients other options like immunotherapy,” said Dr. Arpan Patel, Assistant Professor in Thoracic Oncology Wilmot Cancer Center.

Dr. Patel of URMC says the medical community is also using low dose CT scans to help fight the disease.

“If we are screening patients who are at high risk for lung cancer overall survival does improve,” said Dr. Patel.

Although more people than ever are surviving lung cancer Dr. Patel expects even more progress soon.

“We enroll many patients in a lot of trials and the hope is to find the next thing for lung cancer patients,” said Dr. Patel.

Lung cancer screening with low dose CT scans has been recommended for those at high risk since 2013. According to the American Lung Association only 4% of people eligible were screened in 2018.

People at High Risk for Lung Cancer

  • Anyone who has smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years
  • Anyone who has smoked two pack of cigarettes a day for 15 years
  • If you are age 55 and up

Click here to take the American Lung Association’s low dose CT scan screening eligibility quiz.