Lung Cancer Awareness Month - Screening Program Now Recommended for SmokersDr. Deb Urges Current and Former Smokers to Get Screened
November is Lung Cancer Awareness month and this year, the National Cancer Institute estimates that 226,160 people will get lung cancer and there will a total of 160,340 deaths due to the same. In fact, lung cancer remains the most common cause of cancer death in the United States and Canada.
This year alone, more people will die from lung cancer than those who have breast, prostate and colon cancer combined! Screening programs for these three cancers have effected survival, however, lung cancer screening has not been available until recently.
The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) clearly demonstrated superior cancer survival in screening populations at risk with annual low-dose CT scans. Over three years, there was a significant survival advantage of 20% demonstrated among active and former smokers who were followed in the study.
Conceivably, if the screening is continued beyond three years, the survival benefit will be greater. With 94 million Americans who are current or former smokers, lung cancer screening can have a positive impact in all of our lives.
Clear recommendations defining who should be screened are available to health care professionals and the public by the American Association of Thoracic Surgery (http://www.aats.org/guidelines
) and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (http://www.nccn.org
If you have a smoking history and are older than 55 years of age, ask your doctor if you qualify for lung cancer screening. It may save a life!
Dr. Subrato Deb
Western Maryland Medical Arts Center
12502 Willowbrook Road, Suite 470
Cumberland, MD 21502
Phone: 240-964-8724 Fax: 240-954-8735
Click HERE for more on Thoracic Surgical Services at WMHS