It’s the nation’s leading cause of cancer deaths.
Baltimore, Md (KM). About 3,720 Maryland residents diagnosed each year of lung cancer. During Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic is getting the word out about a screening process that could save lives. “Approximately, 9-million Americans are considered at high risk for lung cancer. And if only half of those at high risk were screened, we would save more than 15,000 lives,” says Deb Brown, the Executive Director of the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic.
She says this CT scan can find out if patients at high risk for lung cancer have the disease before they start experiencing symptoms. “It’s a special kind of X-ray that takes many pictures as a person lies on a table,” she says. “The individual slides in and out of the machine.But the computer then combines all these pictures into a detailed picture of the individual’s body.”
Right now, not a lot of people know about this CT scan, says Brown. “We do know that the awareness of this new lung cancer screening tool is very low, and we are working at the American Lung Association to raise awareness about lung cancer screening,” she says.l
The screening is available all across the country, and people can find out more about it by going on line to “savedbythescan.org.”
Brown says this process is covered by Medicare and most health insurance plans.
Early screening can help stop this disease from spreading. “Lung cancer is so deadly because by the time you have symptoms, the disease has already spread and becomes more difficult to treat,” says Brown.
She says lung cancer is caused by smoking and breathing in second hand smoke. “We also know air pollution can contribute to lung cancer, particularly particle pollution because it gets deep into the lung and cause some problems,” says Brown. :”Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. It’s a colorless, odorless gas and the only way you know if you have is if you test your home.”
By Kevin McManus