Many Americans may be unaware that lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of men and women in the United States, accounting for about one in four cancer deaths. According to the American Lung Association, one of the reasons lung cancer is so deadly is that it is often diagnosed in later stages, after the disease has already spread.
Thankfully, a newly available lung cancer screening method for eligible current and former smokers has the potential to save thousands of lives by detecting the disease earlier, when it’s more curable.
Based on my family history I consider this screening to be a life saver for me and will have it done every year. – Sandy G.
Kathy from Nashville, Tennessee, quit smoking years ago. When she heard a public radio advertisement encouraging people to join a lung cancer screening trial in her city, she decided to participate. Fortunately, this decision saved her life.
“What has become clear to me through this experience is that early detection of lung cancer is the key to saving lives,” said Kathy, who is now cancer-free. “I am living proof of this. I feel unbelievably fortunate to have found my cancer so early.”
The five-year survival rate for lung cancer is among the lowest of all cancers at 18.6 percent. However, for those current and former smokers considered at high risk for lung cancer, screening is key to catching the disease early, when treatment is more likely to be curable.
Approximately 8 million people in the United States are at high risk for lung cancer and should talk to their doctor about getting screened. If each of these eligible Americans were screened, an estimated 25,000 lives could be saved. You could be a candidate for lung cancer screening if you are between the ages of 55 and 80; you currently smoke, or quit within the last 15 years; and you smoked the equivalent of 30 “pack years.”
The “Saved By The Scan” campaign by the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative and The Ad Council offers a simple lung cancer screening eligibility quiz at SavedByTheScan.org to learn whether you may be eligible for the test. If you qualify, consult your doctor to learn more about lung cancer screening and your risk for the disease. For most, lung cancer screening is covered by Medicare and most private insurance plans with no cost sharing.
Questions you can ask your doctor:
• What will be the total cost I will have to pay out of pocket?
• What do the screening results mean?
• Will I need more tests after the screening?
• What are the risks vs. benefits of getting the scan?
You may have stopped smoking, but now it’s time to start screening. Find out if you could be saved by the scan today by visiting SavedByTheScan.org.