Study Says Lung Cancer Survival Increases Sharply If Caught Early

According to a recent study in England, increased screening to identify and monitor people at high risk for lung cancer could increase their chance for five-year survival by nearly three-quarters. 

Researchers at the University of Liverpool suggest leaders in Britain set up a national screening program to catch more lung cancer earlier, with the hope of saving, or preserving, the lives of people diagnosed with the disease. 

Already difficult to treat, lung cancer often poses an even greater challenge for doctors because 70 percent of the time it is not found until it is at an advanced stage and possibly incurable. 

The large trial undertaken by researchers is the first to be conducted in England, and uses a population-based questionnaire to identify people at high risk for the disease, researchers said.  A similar trial in the United States is said to have reduced lung cancer death by about 20 percent. 

When lung cancer is diagnosed in its earliest stages, it is more easily treated and potentially curable.  Charleston Area Medical Center offers annual lung cancer screening for patients at high risk for developing lung cancer using low-dose computer tomography (CT).  Research has shown a significant decrease in deaths when low-dose CT scans are used as a screening tool for people at high risk for lung cancer. 

The goal of the CAMC Lung Cancer Screening Program is to detect lung cancer early, when it is most treatable.  You may be eligible for the low-cost screening program if you: 

– Are between the ages of 50 and 77

– Have a smoking history equivalent to:

– Smoking one pack per day or more for 30 years

– Smoking two packs per day for 15 years

– Current or ex-smoker who has quit within the last 15 years

– Are not showing any signs or symptoms of lung cancer

– Have additional risk factors, such as occupational exposures, a personal or family history of lung cancer or prior radiation therapy in the chest area 

For more information on the CAMC Lung Cancer Screening Program, please click here