Lung Cancer Screening

ATTENTION CURRENT AND FORMER SMOKERS

Lung cancer is the most frequent cause of cancer deaths in this country. The American Cancer Society projects that by the end of this year there will have been 224,000 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed in the U.S., and 159,000 Americans will have died from the disease.

Lung cancer is usually not detected until a person has symptoms such as a chronic cough, shortness of breath and unexplained weight loss, so early detection has been difficult. But now there is hope. Research out of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston has shown that new screening guidelines for the use of low-dose computed tomography (CT) should significantly reduce the number of deaths from lung cancer by improving early detection.

The lung cancer screening guidelines recommend that the following people have a low-dose CT scan:

Smokers and former smokers between the ages of 55 and 79 who have smoked the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years;

Smokers and former smokers between the ages of 50 and 79 who have smoked the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years and have other factors that raise their risk of developing lung cancer; and

Long-term lung cancer survivors up to the age of 79.

Be proactive about your health. Talk to your doctor and ask whether low-dose CT makes sense for you. For more information go to:

http://healthhub.brighamandwomens.org/expanded-lung-cancer-screening-guidelines-expected-to-save-lives.