People who are at a high risk for lung cancer can request a free lung cancer screening. Characteristics of high risk individuals:
- Over 50, with a smoking history of 20 pack-years
- Over 55, with a smoking history of 30 pack-years
What’s a pack-year?
A pack-year is a measurement of how many cigarettes you’ve smoked in your lifetime. Here’s the formula:
the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day x the number of years the person has smoked
So a person who smokes one pack of cigarettes for one year has a smoking history of one pack-year. A pack a day for 20 years? That’s 20 pack-years. A person who smoked half a pack a day for 40 years also has a history of 20 pack-years.
A little math will give you your score.
The level of smoking matters because smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer. Non-smokers can get lung cancer, but some 90% of lung cancers are caused by smoking.
Why get screened?
Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer in the world, and the most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
Patients with early stage, small lung cancers may have an 80 to 90 percent chance of beating the disease. Treatments may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these options.
The later the disease is caught, the lower the chances of successful treatment. However, it is possible to have early-stage lung cancer without realizing it. Early symptoms include persistent cough, pain in a rib or shoulder, and tiredness. These symptoms could be misinterpreted as some other ailment.
Other symptoms include coughing up blood, pneumonia or bronchitis that doesn’t get better, and hoarseness. While these symptoms may be more likely to send you to the doctor, they may also have other causes.
This is why lung cancer screening is so important. Catching lung cancer early can literally be a matter of life and death.
Call 479-695-0081 to schedule your FREE lung screening.