November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month
Lung cancer kills more people than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined. Usually symptoms of lung cancer don't show up until the disease is advanced and not likely to be curable. Lung cancer symptoms can be mistaken for something else, like a respiratory infection or long-term effects of smoking. Current or former smokers may be screened for lung cancer with a low-dose CT scan.
Screening may detect lung cancer at an earlier stage when it can be treated more easily. Research has shown that CT screening for high risk people for lung cancer can reduce the chance of dying from the disease by 20 percent.
Current or previous smokers are at the greatest risk of developing lung cancer. Talk to your doctor about screening if you are:
- Between the ages of 55 - 80 and a current or past smoker - and smoked a pack a day for 30+ years.
- Between the ages of 50-80, a current or past smoker - and smoked a pack a day for 20+ years AND have at least one of the following:
- A history of lung cancer more than 5 years ago that was cured
- A father, mother, sister or brother with a history of lung cancer
- A history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, emphysema or exposure to asbestos.
Insurance may or may not cover the cost of the low-dose CT. Best to call your insurer to find out if you are covered. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services covers this service for people who meet the specific criteria.
If you are a current smoker, it is important to talk with your physician about programs to help you quit smoking. Additional information can be found at www.smokefree.gov.
If you are in the Rochester, MN area on November 2nd, 2017 we are having a lung event in the Stephen and Barbara Slagggie Family Cancer Education Center and would love to have you come see it! See more specific details below: