November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Lung cancer accounts for more deaths than any other cancer for both men and women in the U.S. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), an estimated 234,030 new cases of lung cancer are expected in 2018. At Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, we take an aggressive, multidisciplinary approach to treating and preventing lung cancer. Lung cancer detected early gives us the best opportunity for cure, emphasizing that early detection is key.
Cigarette smoking, by far, is the leading risk factor for developing lung cancer. The risk for lung cancer among smokers is many times higher than among non-smokers and the longer you smoke and the more packs a day you smoke, the greater your risk. If you don’t smoke, breathing in the smoke of others can increase your risk of developing lung cancer. Exposure to other environmental agents, like asbestos, may also increase your risk.
Smoking cessation reduces not only the risk of certain types of cancer, such as lung cancer, but it also reduces other health problems such as the risk of stroke or coronary heart disease. Thibodaux Regional Medical Center offers smoking cessation counseling. Learning about and understanding the many facets of the smoking habit can lead you to a successful smoking cessation.
Lung cancer screening is now recommended for people considered high risk for developing the disease. Those who meet criteria are encouraged to talk with their physician about screening with a low dose computed tomography (LDCT) scan. These high risk patients must be aged 55 to 77 years, have a smoking history equivalent to a pack a day for 30 years, and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Remember, screening is not a substitute for quitting and the most effective way to lower lung cancer risk is to stay away from tobacco.
For more information contact the Cancer Center of Thibodaux Regional, 985.493.4008. •