This website uses cookies. By continuing you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

New Lifesaving Lung Cancer Screening Available, Less than 5 Percent of those Eligible Participate

American Lung Association spotlights screening with potential to save 25,000 lives during Lung Cancer Awareness Month, supports adoption of screening programs

(November 1, 2018) - CHARLESTON, S.C.

For more information please contact:

Britney Reddick
[email protected]
470-233-7030

Lung cancer is the nation’s leading cause of cancer deaths for both women and men, with 4,630 new diagnoses in South Carolina estimated in 2018 alone. However, there’s a new opportunity to turn the tide against this deadly disease through the newly available lung cancer screening, which helps diagnose the disease in the earliest stages when it’s most curable. During Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the American Lung Association highlights that awareness of lung cancer is more important than ever, as the lifesaving lung cancer screening has the potential to save thousands of lives.

The upcoming LUNG FORCE Run/Walk where residents will run and walk together to raise awareness and funds to defeat lung cancer and raise their voices for lung health will take place on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Folly Beach Fishing Pier. The race is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. For more information, CLICK HERE.

“Screening for the disease can make all the difference, and if lung cancer is caught before it spreads, the likelihood of surviving five years or more improves to 56 percent,” said American Lung Association Senior Director of Advocacy June Deen. “We must ensure that people are aware of lung cancer and its risk factors and speak with their doctor if they’re concerned about their risk.”

According to the Lung Association, if the 8 million Americans eligible were screened, an estimated 25,000 lives would be saved. While screening is available at no cost through Medicare and most insurance plans, less than five percent of those eligible are currently getting screened. Screening is recommended for those who meet the following criteria:

  • Are between the ages of 55-80 and currently smoke, or quit within the last 15 years, and smoked the equivalent of 30 “pack years” (1 pack a day for 30 years, 2 packs for 15 years, etc.)

Through its LUNG FORCE initiative, the American Lung Association works to raise awareness of this new screening, including through a partnership with the Ad Council in the first-of-its-kind public awareness campaign “Saved By The Scan.” The campaign encourages current and former smokers to talk to their doctor about their risk and take an online eligibility quiz at SavedByTheScan.org/quiz. The “Saved By The Scan” eligibility quiz has helped more than 137,000 Americans learn about their risk for lung cancer.

Since lung cancer screening is relatively new, to ensure that everyone eligible not only knows about screening but also has access to screening, the Lung Association has partnered with the American Thoracic Society to launch the Lung Cancer Screening Implementation Guide. The Guide helps community hospitals and healthcare systems implement lung cancer screening programs, which will encourage access to lifesaving screening for those who qualify, regardless of where they live.

“We want to make sure that everyone who qualifies for screening knows it’s an option, and that they can access screening in their communities,” said Deen. “We’re at a pivotal moment in addressing this disease, and we’re working to spread the word about screening as it is literally lifesaving for so many people.”

Even with the promise of screening, the Lung Association also continues to push for better treatment options and new methods of early detection for the disease, noting that screening is currently recommended only for select current and former smokers, yet there are a variety of risk factors associated with lung cancer, including exposure to radon gas, secondhand smoke and air pollution as well as genetic factors and sometimes the causes of lung cancer are unknown.

“To ultimately defeat lung cancer, we need to address all risk factors and continue to invest in lung cancer research funding,” said Deen. “Since 2014, the Lung Association’s investment in lung cancer research has increased by 160 percent, and we’re going to continue pushing for more research, advancements and awareness until lung cancer is a thing of the past.”

Visit Lung.org/lung-cancer to learn more about lung cancer, share your experiences with the disease and support lung cancer research.

For journalists interested in speaking with a lung cancer expert or learning more about “Saved By The Scan,” lung cancer research and other efforts to address the disease, contact the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 470-233-7030.

###

About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.

Red button with telephone
Ask An Expert

Questions about your lung health? Need help finding healthcare? Call 1-800-LUNGUSA.

Get help
Red button of two hand prints
We need your generous support

Make a difference by delivering research, education and advocacy to those impacted by lung disease.

Button of turquoise LUNG FORCE swirl
What is LUNG FORCE?

LUNG FORCE unites women and their loved ones across the country to stand together in the fight against lung cancer.

Get involved
Join the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air.
Donate Now.