Lung cancer screen­ing can help save lives

The Buffalo News - - NFL -

Lung cancer is the na­tion’s lead­ing cancer killer for both women and men, with 13,190 New York­ers ex­pected to die this year. New lung cancer screen­ing can im­pact that num­ber by help­ing to di­ag­nose the dis­ease in the ear­li­est stages, when it’s most cur­able.

“Screen­ing for the dis­ease can make all the dif­fer­ence, and if lung cancer is caught be­fore it spreads, the like­li­hood of sur­viv­ing five years or more im­proves to 56 per­cent,” Amer­i­can Lung As­so­ci­a­tion Chief Divi­sion Of­fi­cer Jeff Seyler said in a news re­lease. “We must en­sure that peo­ple are aware of lung cancer and its risk fac­tors, and speak with their doc­tor if they’re con­cerned about their risk.”

Ac­cord­ing to the Lung As­so­ci­a­tion, if the 8 mil­lion Amer­i­cans el­i­gi­ble were screened, an es­ti­mated 25,000 lives would be saved. While screen­ing is avail­able at no cost through Medi­care and most in­sur­ance plans, less than 5 per­cent of those el­i­gi­ble get screened. Screen­ing is rec­om­mended for those who meet the fol­low­ing cri­te­ria:

• Those aged of 55 to 80 and cur­rently smoke, or quit within the last 15 years, and smoked the equiv­a­lent of 30 “pack years” (1 pack a day for 30 years, 2 packs for 15 years, etc.)

Those who won­der if they should get screened are en­cour­aged to take an on­line el­i­gi­bil­ity quiz at saved­bythes­can.org/quiz.

“To ul­ti­mately de­feat lung cancer, we need to ad­dress all risk fac­tors and con­tinue to in­vest in lung cancer re­search fund­ing,” said Mar­i­anne Zacharia, se­nior di­rec­tor of health pro­mo­tions for the Amer­i­can Lung As­so­ci­a­tion in New York. “Since 2014, the Lung As­so­ci­a­tion’s in­vest­ment in lung cancer re­search has in­creased by 160 per­cent, and we’re go­ing to con­tinue push­ing for more re­search, ad­vance­ments and aware­ness un­til lung cancer is a thing of the past.”

Visit lung.org/lung-cancer to learn more about lung cancer, share your ex­pe­ri­ences with the dis­ease, sup­port re­search and learn more about the Fight for Air Climb and Lung Force Walks across the state, in­clud­ing West­ern New York.

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