Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, with more people dying from it than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined.
While this fact may be concerning, there is good news: the number of new lung cancer cases is declining. This can be attributed to lower rates of smoking and an increase in lung cancer screenings, which allow clinicians to detect lung cancer earlier (when it is most treatable).
“Routine cancer screenings are used for early detection of cancers that can be asymptomatic until their later stages. The screening tools we have available may help detect an early-stage cancer, which can be treated and possibly cured,” says family medicine physician Natasha Carlson, MD, with LVPG Family Medicine–Hecktown Oaks. “Patients at high risk for developing lung cancer can greatly benefit from screening, as early identification of lung cancer allows for prompt intervention. This in turn can lead to remission, cure or increased survival.”