Welcome back, 15 minutes after the hour. There have been changes to the recommendations for lung cancer screening in an effort to save lives. Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in the country.
Let’s bring in Fox Medical Teams’ Dena Caon, who is live with us this morning. Good morning, Dena.
These recommendations now include more people, correct? Yes, there is a significant call to screen more people for lung cancer. Most people who qualify for screening do not currently receive it, which is a problem. Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer, and unfortunately, it is often detected too late.
Roughly 130,000 people in our country die from lung cancer each year. The American Cancer Society has expanded its guidelines for current and former smokers who should undergo annual screenings. Now, current and former smokers between the ages of 50 and 80, who have smoked a pack a day for more than 20 years, are recommended to get tested every year. This adds about 5 million more people to the high-risk group.
Previously, the recommendation was for smokers who smoked a pack a day for 30 years to get screened. The criteria has been lessened to encourage more people to undergo screening. The screening itself is a low-dose CT scan, which is relatively quick and painless.
I witnessed a married couple who underwent the screening together, and they simply wanted to know their risk. The earlier lung cancer can be detected, the better chance there is for successful treatment. The recommended frequency of screenings is once a year, although it may vary depending on individual risk factors and initial results. The CT scan provides a detailed picture of the lung tissue, allowing doctors to detect any abnormalities.
The couple I interviewed walked away feeling relieved as nothing was detected. This screening can offer peace of mind or help develop a plan of action if necessary. We hope that these recommendations ultimately save lives, as early detection is crucial. Thank you, Dena, for your insight on this topic. By the way, you look great.
Thank you. I just had my makeup done. This is the first conversation of the day, and everyone knows morning TV anchors look their best at this hour.
Talk to you soon..