Multiple studies have shown that lung cancer screening works. Tobacco cessation works. They both help lower the chances of dying from lung cancer. Don’t be afraid to ask your provider for more information for you or your family.Rian M. Hasson, MD
Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Screening has been shown to save lives. However, guidelines from 10 years ago were geared toward people ages 55 to 77 with a 30-pack-year history who were either current smokers, or had recently quit. Since then, it’s been noticed that populations were missing from those guidelines—notably those who are getting lung cancer earlier than age 55 and those with lower pack-year histories. These populations aren’t necessarily meeting older screening criteria, or, when they do, it's too late and their disease has already advanced.
So what does proper screening look like for lung cancer today? Dartmouth Cancer Center thoracic surgeon Rian M. Hasson, MD, explains what you need to know about screening for this cancer.
For example, guidelines have recently changed to include people who are 50 through 80 and have a 20-pack-year history. “That sounds like a lot but it’s actually not when you look at the big picture,” says Hasson.
In her presentation from “Cancer Screening Recommendations & Updates,” Hasson goes over the new guidelines and who should be screened, explains what a “pack-year” actually means and discusses where insurance coverage stands. She explains why screening is effective for early detection and acknowledges some of the roadblocks to why many high-risk people aren’t getting screened. Finally, she answers questions about lifestyle habits and factors related to lung cancer, as well as steps to reduce risk.
“Multiple studies have shown that lung cancer screening works. Tobacco cessation works. They both help lower the chances of dying from lung cancer. Don’t be afraid to ask your provider for more information for you or your family.” says Hasson.
The Thriving Thursday Cancer Survivorship Program is a collaboration between Dartmouth Cancer Center and the American Cancer Society.