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Did you know that lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women in the U.S.? Lung cancer kills more of us yearly than breast, prostate, colon, and rectal cancers combined.
Early detection is key
It is essential to have regular checkups with your physician to discuss your health and cancer risk. Many people with lung cancer do not experience symptoms immediately. So, most lung cancer is found late when treatments have limited success.
Recent studies show that screening people at high risk of developing lung cancer helps find it when it is more treatable and potentially curable. Annual CT screenings that use low-dose radiation can detect 85 percent of early-stage lung cancers.
Diagnosing lung cancer
If you have a suspicious chest x-ray or CT scan, further testing may be necessary. A biopsy, or sample of the suspicious area, can see if cancer cells are present.
Doctors from both radiology and pulmonology work together to ensure you receive the best care possible.
A lung specialist (pulmonologist) can perform special procedures such as a bronchoscopy. During a bronchoscopy, a specialist puts a long, thin tube down the throat and into the airway to collect a sample.
“Electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy is a cutting-edge and safe technique that helps pulmonologists reach lesions that would normally be difficult to biopsy. In combination with early detection, we hope to diagnose and treat patients with lung cancer sooner and improve outcomes,” says Dr. Robert Sickinger, a pulmonologist with Kettering Health.
Your physician may refer you an expert pulmonologist at Kettering Health who performs this highly accurate, advanced procedure.
Reduce your risk
Making healthy life choices like not smoking, eating right, keeping active, and getting recommended screenings can prevent half of all cancer deaths.
The biggest risk factor is cigarette smoking
Your risk increases with the number of daily cigarettes and years spent smoking. Cigar and pipe smoking also increase the risk of developing lung cancer.
Lung cancer isn’t limited to smokers.
Environmental factors can also play a part in lung cancer. These lung cancer risk factors include exposure to asbestos, diesel exhaust, paint fumes, radon gas released from the soil, and certain metals (chromium, cadmium, arsenic).
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