Funding for research and treatment has increased significantly over the last 50 years, while funding used for prevention and early detection remains neglected. This is quite distressing considering early detection of lung cancer is essential to providing an opportunity to beat the disease.
The Cathy Minutillo Foundation is looking to fill in this gap by providing resources regarding prevention and early detection to sufficiently educate and provide people with the opportunity to prevent lung cancer before it happens.
- Cigarette smoking causes 80-85% of lung cancer in the U.S.
- The risks of lung cancer associated with cigarette smoking are dose dependent and increase markedly according to the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the number of years smoked
- There is no risk-free level of tobacco smoke
Resources to help you quit:
- LIVESTRONG MyQuit Coach App: personalized app to help you quit smoking
- Quitlines: Speak to a quit smoking counselor immediately, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
- SmokefreeTXT: a mobile text messaging service designed for adults and young adults in the U.S. who are trying to quit smoking
- The Five Day Plan: one of the oldest and most effective smoking cessation programs
Reduce Occupational Exposure to Lung Carcinogens
- Occupational exposures such as asbestos, arsenic, nickel, and chromium are causally associated with lung cancer
- Reducing or eliminating workplace exposures to known lung carcinogens decreases your risk of lung cancer
Reduce Exposure to Radon
- Indoor exposure to radon increases lung cancer incidence, particularly among cigarette smokers
- In homes with high radon concentrations, taking steps to prevent radon from entering homes by sealing the basement decreases your risk of lung cancer
Early detection of small cell lung cancer saves lives because it is much easier to treat.
Signs & Symptoms
- A cough that doesn’t go away or gets worse
- Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum
- Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling tired or weak
- Infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia that don’t go away or keep coming back
- New onset of wheezing
Typically small cell lung cancer symptoms don’t appear until the disease is at an advanced stage. However, once you notice any symptoms, immediately consult your physician and ask if obtaining a CT Scan would be reasonable. Many people often mistake these symptoms for other problems such as lung infections or side effects from smoking, which delays diagnosis.
- Screening is the use of tests to find cancer in people who don’t have symptoms
- Screening can help find lung cancer at an early stage which makes it easier to treat
- Lung cancer screening is done using a low-dose CT Scan (LDCT Scan). This is a procedure that uses low-dose radiation to make a series of very detailed pictures of areas inside the body
- LDCT scans are better than chest x-rays at finding early stage lung cancer
Who Should Get Screened?
Patients that meet ALL of the following criteria may be candidates for lung cancer screening:
- 55-74 years old
- In fairly good health
- Have at least a 30 pack/year smoking history
- Are either still smoking or have quit smoking within the last 15 years
Provided that you do meet all of the criteria above, patients should still speak with their doctors about the benefits, limitations, and potential harms of lung cancer screening.
Lastly, if you’re an adult that has a biologically-related relative diagnosed with lung cancer, it may be reasonable to discuss screening with your physician.