Lung Cancer Prevention
Not smoking is the single best thing you can do to avoid lung cancer, with about 85 percent of cases linked to a smoking history. However, 13 percent of lung cancer cases occur in never-smokers - defined as those who have had less than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime. And research has shown that lifelong non-smokers will often have genetic mutations - such as EGFR or ALK - for which there are targeted therapies.
Help Reduce Your Risk of Lung Cancer.
- If you smoke, please consider getting help to quit through one of WellStar’s tobacco cessation programs. WellStar physicians know that not smoking is the single best thing a person can do to avoid lung cancer, so please discuss quitting with your WellStar physicians.
- Avoid second hand smoke - the second greatest statistical cause of cancer.
Tests and Screenings for Lung Cancer.
One of the reasons that lung cancer can be difficult to treat is that it often is advanced before it is diagnosed. Physicians cannot palpate the lungs to feel for masses, as the two, large, sponge-like organs lie beneath the rib cage and are not accessible for examination.
However, the WellStar Cancer Network is participating in the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program, commonly referred to as I-ELCAP, a global research study that seeks to assess the effectiveness of using Computed Tomography (CT) chest imaging as a screening tool in evaluating early stage lung cancer in people at high risk. The mission of I-ELCAP is to determine whether CT screening reduces mortality in lung cancer.
Some doctors still recommend a yearly chest X-ray for those who have been smokers. However, in late 2010, the National Cancer Institute of the NIH released the results of a study of 50,000 patients that showed that screening high risk patients with CT scans reduced the mortality of lung cancer by 20% when compared to screening by Chest X-Ray. Thus, it is important to talk to your WellStar physician to determine whether a CT scan could be helpful in your case.