There has been a possible breakthrough in the fight against lung cancer. This is incredible news since 157,300 deaths are contributed to lung cancer each year in the United States. This is more deaths than colon, breast or prostate cancer combined, according to the American Cancer Society.
What is this possible breakthrough?
This breakthrough comes in the form of a simple screening test that may be able to spot lung cancer early. If one is able to spot lung cancer early, one can begin treating it early and maybe even be able to combat it.
The test is a simple spiral CT scan.
The test study was done on 53,000 smokers between the ages of 55-74 years of age. It pinpointed that that this test gives these smokers a 20% chance of detecting lung cancer in its earliest stages and detecting other types of diseases by 7%.
However, this spiral CT scan is not currently covered by insurance as a screening tool for lung cancer. This means if you want this test performed for this reason, you will have to cover all your own out of pocket expenses which generally run around $300.
Who is the most at risk of developing lung cancer?
Doctors will tell you that smokers are the most at risk of developing it. Yet, not everyone who has lung cancer is smokers. Approximately 15% of lung cancer patients are non-smokers.
Yet, you will still lower your chances of developing lung cancer, by not smoking and by trying to stay away from as many environmental hazards as you can.
Since there are approximately 80 million smokers in the US, knowing that there is a screening tool now to detect lung cancer early, is a great stride in combating the disease. Hopefully, soon it will also be a screening tool that your insurance will help cover.