Screening can save your Life - Lung Cancer Awareness Month
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, accounting for 25 percent of all cancer deaths. According to the American Cancer Society, more people die each year of lung cancer than colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. Unfortunately, most lung cancer is discovered after symptoms occur.
During Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Intermountain Health and St. Vincent are raising awareness about screening that can allow lung cancer to be found early when treatments can be more effective. Intermountain Health and St. Vincent offer Low Dose Lung Screening which helps with the early detection of cancer and greatly increases chances for survival.
For those who meet the criteria, annual cancer screenings can help find lung cancer at the first stages. Below are the recommendations for candidates for lung screening:
· Age 50-77
· At least a 20-pack year smoking history (two pack per day for 10 years or 1 pack per day for 20 years)
· Current smoker or have smoked in the past 15 years
“It’s very important to be evaluated especially if you have a history of smoking,” shared Katelyn Gaskin, Nurse Practitioner, Pulmonology at St. Vincent Healthcare. “I encourage anyone who meets the criteria to talk with your primary care provider to learn more about the screening.”
The lung cancer screening allows medical providers to identify areas that may need to be biopsied to identify and confirm cancer. St. Vincent now offers cutting-edge, robotic-assisted bronchoscopy which allows for a minimally invasive and highly effective lung biopsy, resulting in better outcomes for patients.
“With the advancements of robotic bronchoscopy, we can now diagnose small spots from inside the lung in a safer and much more effective way,” shared Dr. Abdallah Abboud, Pulmonologist at St. Vincent. “This robotic technology is cutting-edge and we are very excited to be able to offer it to our patients in Montana and the region.”
Because lung cancer is often found only after symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor and know your risk factors. For more information and to find out if you are at high risk for developing lung cancer, take our online quiz https://connect.intermountainhealth.org/montana-lung-cancer-screening or call 406-657-7000.