November is Lung Cancer Awareness month. Lung cancer is the second most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.
Should you be concerned?
Colonoscopies and mammograms are common and highly successful screening tools for cancer. But for lung cancer, only 6% of people in the U.S. who are at high risk and eligible for lung cancer screenings are currently getting checked.
Because of this, lung cancer is often not diagnosed until it is in its advanced stages. Early detection is the key to survival, so screenings can literally make a difference between a patient’s life and death.
Are screenings covered by insurance?
Lung cancer screenings are covered by most insurances including Medicare.
What causes lung cancer?
Smoking cigarettes is the #1 cause of lung cancer. Other causes include: exposure to secondhand smoke, environmental chemicals and pollutants, wildfire smoke, car exhaust, radiation therapy, or a family history of lung cancer.
Research is still being done to determine the long-term effects of vaping or smoking marijuana. However, additives and carcinogens ingested when using these substances can increase the risk of individuals developing lung cancer.
Take this quiz to see if you should get screened
If you smoked, you should get screened for lung cancer, as a Low-Dose CT lung cancer screening test could save your life. Take the quiz to see if you should get screened for lung cancer: www.savedbythescan.org.
What to do if you’re at risk
If you are a current or ex-smoker, or have been exposed to the risk factors mentioned above: talk to a WWMG primary care provider about getting screened for lung cancer with a Low-Dose CT (LDCT) scan.
In addition, if you:
- Currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years
- Have at least a 20-pack year smoking history
(1 pack/day for 20 years –or- 2 packs/day for 10 years)
- Are between the ages of 50-80
you may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial, to further medical research and help other patients in the future.
What does a clinical trial include?
WWMG’s Clinical Research Center is offering eligible patients an opportunity to participate in a clinical trial in conjunction with their LDCT screening. Visit our Clinical Research page for more information, and to apply.
If you are a current or ex-smoker, talk to a WWMG primary care provider about getting screened for lung cancer with a Low-Dose CT scan. It could literally save your life.