The Importance Of Lung Cancer Screening

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The Importance Of Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 158,000 people will die from lung cancer this year. This is why it’s so important to get screened for lung cancer as early as possible. In this article, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of lung cancer, as well as the importance of early detection.


One of the biggest issues with lung cancer is that it often doesn’t present symptoms until it has advanced to a later stage. When symptoms do appear, they may be mistaken for other illnesses such as a cold or bronchitis. These symptoms can include a persistent cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, and weight loss. However, these symptoms can also be caused by less serious conditions. It’s important to see a doctor if you have any concerns about your respiratory health.


Early detection can greatly improve your chances of success in treating lung cancer. A study conducted by the National Cancer Institute showed that when caught at an early stage, the five-year survival rate for lung cancer patients was 56%. However, when it is not caught until a later stage, that survival rate drops to just 4%.


Risk Factors

There are certain risk factors for lung cancer, including smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, as well as a family history of the disease. If you fall into one or more of these categories, it’s important to talk to your doctor about getting screened for lung cancer. Other risk factors for lung cancer include radon exposure, asbestos exposure, and a family history of the disease. People who have lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or tuberculosis are also at increased risk. 


Cigarette Smoking & Secondhand Exposure

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, accounting for about 80% of all cases. The risk of developing lung cancer increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the number of years a person has been smoking. However, even people who smoke only a few cigarettes a day are at increased risk. Quitting smoking reduces the risk of developing lung cancer, and the risk decreases the longer a person abstains from smoking. In addition to causing lung cancer, smoking also increases the risk of other types of cancer, including mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, bladder, kidney, and cervix. It also contributes to heart disease, stroke, and other respiratory problems. Smoking is an addictive habit that is difficult to break, but it is never too late to quit. The sooner a person stops smoking, the greater the health benefits.

Secondhand smoke is a known carcinogen, and exposure to it can increase your risk of developing lung cancer. In fact, secondhand smoke exposure is estimated to cause approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States alone. The best way to protect yourself from the risks of secondhand smoke is to avoid exposure as much as possible. 


Possible Symptoms

Symptoms of lung cancer can vary depending on the individual, but there are some common signs that may indicate the presence of the disease. First and foremost, any persistent cough or change in cough patterns warrants a visit to the doctor. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, chest pain, recurring respiratory infections, fatigue, and weight loss. However, it is important to note that many of these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, so it is vital to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. If lung cancer is suspected, a variety of tests can be used to confirm the diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment. With early detection and treatment, patients with lung cancer can improve their prognosis and quality of life.


Get Screened

It is estimated that only 20% of people who have lung cancer are still alive five years after their diagnosis. One reason for this low survival rate is that lung cancer is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, when treatments are least effective. However, research has shown that screening for lung cancer can help to improve outcomes. Low-dose CT scans can detect small tumors that may not be visible on standard X-rays. In addition, screening allows for earlier diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, when the disease is more likely to be curable. As a result, anyone who is at high risk for lung cancer should talk to their doctor about whether screening is right for them.

The American Cancer Society recommends annual screenings for those at high risk starting at age 50. Your doctor may also suggest additional imaging tests such as CT scans or bronchoscopies.


Don’t ignore possible symptoms or avoid screening because of fear or denial. Early detection can greatly improve your chances in successfully treating lung cancer. Talk to your doctor about getting screened and taking steps towards a healthier respiratory system. For more articles, visit