GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know lung cancer is the most preventable cancer? Yet more people die from it than breast, prostate, and colon cancer combined. Doctor Raul Mendoza is an interventional pulmonologist with Aurora BayCare. He joined Rachel Manek on Good Day Wisconsin to talk about risk factors for getting the disease
Mendoza says most lung cancer is caused by smoking but other risk factor include secondhand smoke and exposure to unsafe levels of radon gas or other hazardous gases. People with a family history of lung cancer are at a higher risk.
He recommends high risk individuals be screened since lung cancer can grow silently. Eighty percent of lung cancer cases in Wisconsin are diagnosed after they have spread beyond the lung.
Mendoza says Aurora BayCare Medical Center uses CT scans as a standard in its lung cancer screening program. By using a low-radiation dose CT scan, the state-of-the-art system can detect signs in those that are at an increased risk for lung cancer before they have any symptoms. Heavy smokers ages 55–77 or those who have quit within the last 15 years are recommended for screening.