Reduce Your Risk for Lung Cancer
A Look at the Data
Although there have been notable strides in early detection and treatment, lung cancer still accounts for about 27 percent of all cancer deaths in the United States. It remains the leading cause of cancer death for men and women, outpacing colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.
Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer, linked to about 80 percent of deaths from the disease. Even smoking a few cigarettes a day has a negative impact. However, your risk for lung cancer and other smoking-related illnesses continues to decrease the longer you don’t smoke.
Smoking Cessation Help
Lancaster General Health offers a variety of free resources to help you quit smoking.
Freedom From Smoking® group classes allow you to join others in a program developed by the American Lung Association that has proven success. The sessions provide the support and tools you need to quit smoking for good, including free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).
Individual tobacco dependence treatment counseling is a good option for those who prefer more personalized help. The weekly 30-minute sessions at the Suburban Pavilion are focused on developing a personalized quit plan, and again offer free NRT.
The PA Free Quitline, 1-800-QUIT NOW (784-8669), a state-run resource, provides free coaching—over the phone—to help you quit smoking.
Lung Cancer Screening
If you are concerned about your risk of lung cancer, Lancaster General Health offers a lung cancer screening program with a doctor’s referral. The screening is recommended for people ages 55-77 with a moderate to heavy smoking history, but no history of lung cancer.
Low-dose CT screening for lung cancer is covered by a growing number of insurance plans. Check with your plan to find out if it is covered. The screening service includes the CT scan, interpretation and written report by a board-certified radiologist, and follow-up reminder from the radiologist to the patient and referring physician, when needed.
For more information on lung cancer screening go to checkyourlungs.org and discuss with your primary care physician.