November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
The American Lung Association states, “Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of both men and women in the U.S. It also has one of the lowest five-year survival rates of all cancer types.”
· More than half of people with lung cancer die within one year of being diagnosed.
· Lung cancer causes more deaths than the next three most common cancers combined (colon, breast and prostate).
· The National Institutes of Health estimated that lung cancer care cost the U.S. $13.4 billion in 2015.
· There will be more than 224,000 new cases of lung cancer in 2016.
· Over the last 10 years, the number of deaths due to lung cancer has decreased about 6 percent among men, but increased about 2 percent among women.
Hope in Early Detection
Lung cancer can be treated more successfully when it is found early. New studies have shown that low-dose CT screening (LDCT) for high-risk individuals can reduce the risk of death from lung cancer. These scans have about five times less radiation than conventional CT scans.
Did you know that Medicare and Medicaid patients, that are risk for lung cancer, could be eligible for a low dose CT screening. If you meet the following criteria, you are considered to be “high risk” for developing lung cancer and screening is recommended:
· If you are between 55 through 80 years old. (Or between 55 and 77 years old if on Medicare).
· You have smoked 30 pack-year history of smoking (this means 1 pack a day for 30 years, 2 packs a day for 15 years, etc.).
· Patient is a current smoker, or has quit within the last 15 years.
If you are a smoker talk to your physician about a low-dose CT screening for the early detection of lung cancer. For more information about lung cancer visit the American Lung Associations website http://www.lung.org/about-us/.