CHICAGO | November 10, 2022
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. This is largely because lung cancer symptoms show up in later stages after the cancer has already spread. Thankfully, lung cancer screening is available to detect cancer at early stages. Through a new campaign, the American Lung Association is educating Americans on the benefits of early detection and new methods of managing lung cancer.
Close to 236,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year, according to the American Lung Association’s “State of Lung Cancer” report. Unfortunately, only 24% of cases nationally are diagnosed at an early stage when the five-year survival rate is much higher. The good news is that the lung cancer five-year survival rate has increased to 23.7% thanks in part to lung cancer screening and advanced technology.
“The strides we have made in lung cancer survival, detection and treatment over the past decade are truly incredible. We have a tremendous opportunity to detect cancer earlier and save lives through lung cancer screening, specifically,” said Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “Lung cancer screening was first recommended in 2013, so many people still aren’t aware that this may be available to them. If lung cancer is detected early, there are now technologies available to quickly remove it and cure the lung cancer with shorter recovery times.”
Lung cancer screening is key to early detection of the disease. A person is eligible for lung cancer screening if they meet the following criteria:
- 50 – 80 years of age
- Have a 20 pack-year history (1 pack/day for 20 years, 2 packs/day for 10 years;
- AND, are a current smoker, or have quit within the last 15 years
If a nodule is detected during screening, new technologies are available that can help biopsy the nodule such as robotic assisted bronchoscopy. Lung cancer can be managed through minimally invasive surgery with a shorter recovery time. Surgery is best performed before a tumor has spread and may not be right for all patients. It is important for people to speak to their healthcare provider about all available management options.
To improve early detection and management of lung cancer, the American Lung Association, with support from Intuitive, launched a new educational campaign. Find out if you are eligible for lung cancer screening by taking a simple quiz here and learn more about the new campaign here.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.