November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and an appropriate time to recommit ourselves to reducing lung cancer in our community.
Lung cancer is a dangerous disease. When we look at all of the people who die from any kind of cancer in Scioto County, approximately one third are due to lung cancer. This is, in part, because most lung cancer is detected in advanced stages.
That is why we are doing everything in our power to detect lung cancer early, and I am excited I am excited to report we have a powerful new tool at our disposal.
We call it the Incidental Nodule Program. Now, when our radiologists see a CT Scan, they have the ability to flag abnormalities for our Lung Navigator to review. The patient is informed of the abnormality and follow up appointments with the Pulmonology group are scheduled to explore the unexpected findings. This program has already found more than 50 lung nodules that were later determined to be cancer.
This program is saving lives, but it’s not the only way we can decrease lung cancer deaths. Understanding your risk factors – such as smoking, occupational exposure and genetics – can also help identify cancer early. So, too, can receiving a lung cancer screening.
If you are a smoker, though, the number one way you can protect yourself from lung cancer is by stopping. If you are between the ages of 55 and 77 and currently smoke or quit within the past 15 years and have a 30 pack-year history of smoking, you should also consider talking to your primary care provider or our Lung Health Navigator at 740-356-LUNG (5864).
At SOMC, we are committed to doing everything we can to preventing lung cancer deaths – not just in November, but all year long.
This writer’s opinion is their own and not the opinion of this newspaper