Lung cancer screening can help save lives
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.