Ladies: Should You Be Screened for Lung Cancer?

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lung-cancer-screen-smallLung cancer is the third most common type of cancer. Healthcare experts are identifying patients who are at risk and encouraging them to get screened. Join Renown Health as a supporter of the 2016 American Lung Association LUNG FORCE Walk on May 14 at Greater Nevada Field to share the importance of early detection.

Most people are shocked to learn that lung cancer kills more women than breast cancer every year, and has since 1987. However, for most women, lung cancer is not on their radar when it comes to health concerns.

Below are some facts about lung cancer that every woman needs to know:

  • Every five minutes, a mother, daughter, wife or sister will be told she has lung cancer.
  • One year later, fewer than half of these women will have survived the diagnosis.
  • Over the past 35 years, the lung cancer death rate in women has more than doubled compared to men.

As you may already guessed, the most important risk factor for lung cancer is smoking, which results in approximately 85 percent of all U.S. lung cancer cases. Although the prevalence of smoking has decreased, approximately 37 percent of U.S. adults are current or former smokers. Nonsmokers have a 20 to 30 percent greater chance of developing lung cancer if they are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work.

Renown Institute for Cancer is taking swift action. One of the experts leading the force is Bobbi Gillis, RN, BSN, CBCN, diagnostic and screening navigator for the institute.

To help you learn your risk, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force has a set of guidelines to determine your risk and recommendations for getting screened.

Determine whether you or a loved one needs to be screened for lung cancer by answering the following:

  • Are you 55-80 years old?
  • Do you have a 30 pack a year history of smoking, or greater?
  • Are you a current smoker, or if you quit, have you quit within last 15 years?
  • Are you asymptomatic – having no signs or symptoms of lung cancer?
  • Do you have no previous history of lung cancer?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, you could be at high risk for lung cancer. Talk with your doctor about Renown’s Lung Cancer Screening program.

What is a lung cancer screening?

Screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) has been proven to find the disease at its earliest stages. Renown Health is designated as a Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance and is committed to responsible lung cancer screening for our community.

How can I get a lung cancer screening?

You must have a referral from your doctor for this screening. Call your doctor and communicate that you are interested in a referral to the lung cancer screening program. If you are eligible, you will meet with experts from the program to discuss your risk and decide if the LDCT screening is right for you.

Why is a lung cancer screening important?

Clinical trials have shown the likelihood of surviving lung cancer improves with early detection through screening. A LDCT screening of the chest is used in individuals who are at high risk of developing lung cancer but have no signs or symptoms of the disease. Compared to chest X-rays, a LDCT has been shown to detect lung cancer at an earlier and more treatable stage, increasing survival rates by 20 percent.

Does insurance pay for the screening?

Yes. Private insurance companies cover the lung cancer screening for high-risk individuals. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also covers lung cancer screenings.

For more information, call 775-982-LUNG (5864) or visit renown.org/Lung.

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