Understanding Lung Cancer
Chances are, you've heard the frightening statistics: Cigarette smoking accounts for nearly 90% of all lung cancer cases. In the United States alone, lung cancer leads to 32% of cancer deaths in men and 25% of cancer deaths in women. Perhaps you've already taken these numbers to heart and quit smoking, and that's great! But did you know that up to 50% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among former smokers? And recent evidence suggests that individuals with substantial "second-hand" smoke exposure are also at increased risk for lung cancer. But you can turn it around. When lung cancer is found early, there's an excellent long-term survival rate of 85-90%. However, those who do not catch the disease at an early stage face a dismal 15% chance of surviving just five years.
Identifying the Problem
|Are you a smoker, a former smoker, or someone who has had repeated exposure to second-hand smoke? Do you have respiratory symptoms? Or, have you been exposed to cancer causing chemicals (such as asbestos, radon, arsenic, chromium, nickel, or mustard gases) on the job? If so, you should be screened early. You should be screened now. At the very least, a lung scan can put your mind at ease. Or it can save your life.
Taking the Right Steps
Studies show the effectiveness of treatment for lung disease is largely dependent on when it is discovered. Recent research suggests that low radiation dose computed tomography (CT) such as available with the EBT scanner is valuable in fast, convenient, very safe lung scanning and can diagnose tumors as small as 5 millimeters in size. Death from lung cancer is considered preventable in approximately 85% of clinical cases through a combination of avoidance of smoking and early detection. If you have been exposed to smoking, early detection is that much more important.