MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women. Every year, more people die from lung cancer than from colon, breast, and prostate cancer combined.
About 218,500 people in the United States are told they have lung cancer each year, and about 142,000 people die from the disease. That’s according to the CDC, which also says that nearly nine out of 10 lung cancers are caused by cigarette smoking. And people who have never smoked but are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of getting lung cancer by 20% to 30%.
Different people have different symptoms of lung cancer. Most people with lung cancer do not have symptoms until the cancer is advanced.
Carmichael Imaging Center offers lung scans that can detect lung cancer before someone has symptoms. This screening is done using low-dose computed tomography (LDCT), which allows testing with minimal radiation exposure and provides a detailed picture of the lungs. It’s non-invasive, no needle sticks, no need to change clothes, and helps find lung cancer at an early, more treatable stage.
You should consider screening if you have all three of these risk factors:
- Age 50-80 (Medicare and Medicare supplements cover up to age 77) and
- A current smoker or a former smoker who quit less than 15 years ago and
- A smoking history of at least 20 pack-years (this means 1 pack a day for 20 years or 0.5 pack a day for 40 years, etc.) The more you smoke and for longer, the higher your risk of breast cancer lung.
Screening is free for people who have previously smoked, or the $99 self-pay option if insurance doesn’t cover it. Call 387-1100 (option 6) to schedule your screening. Medical order required. The results will be sent to your doctor.
If all people considered to be at high risk for lung cancer were screened, an estimated 25,000 lives would be saved.
Treatments are improving for lung cancer, but it still kills more men and women than any other type of cancer. Montgomery Cancer Center offers two different treatments.
A navigational bronchoscopy uses a special bronchoscope to examine and treat lesions in areas of the lungs that are inaccessible with an ordinary bronchoscope. Navigation bronchoscopy combines electromagnetic navigation with real-time computed tomography (CT) imaging to create a three-dimensional map of the lungs. Doctors are then able to use this map to guide the navigation bronchoscope, which includes an extended working channel and guide wire, to hard-to-reach areas of the lungs to take a biopsy or to help guide radiotherapy directly to a site of hard access. hit the injury.
Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) is a procedure that uses ultrasound technology in combination with bronchoscopy to visualize the airway walls and surrounding structures. EBUS allows clinicians to localize hard-to-reach tumors and small cell lung cancer. The EBUS can also take a biopsy of tissue in the lungs or surrounding lymph nodes in the chest.
If diagnosed at an early stage, lung cancer patients are 13 times more likely to live for five years.
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