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Lung Cancer Screening Can Save Lives

  • Category: Cancer
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Stephen Brierre, MD
Lung Cancer Screening Can Save Lives

Each year, more people die of lung cancer than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined. However, a new report from the American Cancer Society attributed the nation’s largest one-year drop in cancer mortality to a reduction in deaths from lung cancer. This decline is largely due to increased screening for those at high risk for lung cancer. If lung cancer is caught before it spreads, the likelihood of surviving 5 years or more improves to 59 percent.

If you are a current or former smoker, some symptoms of lung cancer to look out for include coughing up blood and sudden weight loss. However, these symptoms usually do not appear until the disease is already at an advanced stage. This is why screening is so important.

How do you know if you’re eligible for lung cancer screening?

If you’re between the ages of 55 to 77 with a significant smoking history, either current or in recent past, you are eligible to be screened. A significant smoking history is the equivalent of smoking one pack of cigarettes a day for 30 or more years, this even includes those who have quit smoking within the past 15 years. The American Lung Association provides a quiz that will let you know if you should be screened.

If you meet this criteria, speak with your doctor about having an annual low-dose CT scan. This is the screening for lung cancer that can recognize tiny nodules on the lungs long before you show any symptoms. It also creates less exposure to radiation than a traditional CT scan.

Baton Rouge General’s Pennington Cancer Center is named a center of Excellence by The GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer, which gives our patients access to the latest innovations in lung cancer care. If you would like to learn more about our lung cancer screening program call (225) 237-1600 or visit