NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - During November, which is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE initiative is highlighting the availability of a new lifesaving tool: lung cancer screening.
Lung cancer is the nation's leading cause of cancer deaths, and every year, 2,657 Louisiana residents are diagnosed with the disease. One reason lunch cancer is so deadly is because by the time symptoms begin to show up, it may have already spread and become more difficult to treat. Lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan is a powerful tool to diagnose lung cancer in individuals who are at high risk at an early stage, when it's much more likely to be curable.
"The toll lung cancer takes on our families, friends, and neighbors in Arkansas and across the nation is truly devastating. With the availability of lung cancer screening, we have the opportunity to find the disease earlier and save lives. However, to make this lifesaving opportunity a reality, we must do more to raise awareness of both lung cancer and screening," said Ashley Lyerly, regional director of public policy for the American Lung Association in Louisiana.
LUNG FORCE suggests four things everyone should know about lung cancer screening:
- A low-dose CT scan is the only tool that reduces the lung cancer mortality rate for those at high risk
- Screening is not recommended for everyone
- Awareness of lung cancer screening is critically low
- Screening is covered by most healthcare plans
An estimated 9 million Americans are considered at high risk for lung cancer, and if only half of those were screened, more than 15,000 could be saved.