If you smoke, ever have smoked or even have been exposed to second hand smoke, you owe it to yourself to have a lung cancer screening. Like many illnesses, early lung cancer detection is key. When detected and treated early, lung cancer patients have a much higher survival rate than those who don’t know they have lung cancer until symptoms appear.
The traditional cancer detection method involved a chest X-ray, however, this method was not able to detect cancer early enough to reduce the disease’s death rate. A newer lung cancer screening test called low-dose computed tomography is now available.
The great news is that patients age 55 to 74 who have a history of smoking heavily are 20% less likely to pass away from lung cancer if they are screened with a low-dose CT scan than they are using the traditional X-ray method.
Preventing Lung Cancer
The most important thing you can do to improve your health today is to quit smoking. Your body will start to reap the benefits even a few hours after your last cigarette when your heart rate and blood pressure will drop to normal rates. Your blood will be able to carry oxygen better when carbon monoxide levels begin to decrease in your body.
A few years after stopping smoking you will be at a lower risk for cancer, COPD, heart disease and other chronic diseases. Studies have found that it’s never too late to stop smoking if you want to increase your lifespan. Those who quit before 40 can reduce their chances of dying prematurely from smoking-related illnesses by as much as 90%.
We know that no matter the benefits, quitting smoking is not easy. Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths, not only in the United States but also in Fulton County. Fulton County Medical Center offers a low-dose screening CT scan which can identify nodules, or spots in the lungs that can be cancerous.
It is recommended you have a screening if you are:
- Age 55-79 and have smoked the equivalent of one pack daily for 30 years
- Age 50-79 and have smoked the equivalent of one pack daily for 20 years and have one additional risk factor
To schedule an appointment for a lung cancer screening please call 717-485-6107 today.