November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Lung cancer happens when cells in the lung mutate, growing and clustering together to form a tumor. Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of both men and women in the United States. Anyone can get lung cancer, though smoking is the greatest risk factor. There are other risk factors like exposure to radon, hazardous chemicals and air pollution. A family history may also mean you are at higher risk of getting the disease.

This Lung Cancer Awareness Month, learn about whether lung cancer screening is right for you.

Who should be screened for lung cancer?

Lung cancer screening is only recommended for individuals who are at high risk for developing lung cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends screening for individuals 55-74 who meet the criteria in the image below.

Criteria for who should be screened for lung cancer.

Why is lung cancer screening only recommended for high-risk individuals?

The low-dose CT (LDCT) scans that are used for screening are associated with some risks. In addition to being exposed to a small amount of radiation with each test,  LDCTs can find abnormalities that will require additional testing and turn out not to be cancer. These additional tests can be invasive. If you have questions or concerns, talk to your doctor.

If I am not a candidate for screening, how can I reduce my risk of lung cancer?

The best way to reduce your risk of lung cancer is to never smoke, or if you do, stop smoking now. Talk to your doctor about ways to quit.

Other ways to reduce your risk are:

Cancer Care at Alphascript

At Alphascript, we understand that each patient is unique. We provide a personalized approach to cancer care, dispensing compassion and expertise as well as medication. Learn more here.

This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only.