Cancer | Health News

Every three minutes, someone in the United States dies from lung cancer, and 13 North Carolinians die from it each day, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. This disease is the second most common cancer among men and women in the United States and the leading cause of cancer death in North Carolina and the United States.

One of the most important actions to take to preserve your health is to know your risks and to get a lung cancer screening if recommended by your health care provider. The only recommended screening test for lung cancer is low-dose computed tomography, also called a low-dose CT scan or LDCT.

Dr. Mark Bowling, chief of pulmonary & critical care, and director of thoracic oncology program at ECU and Vidant Medical Center, said, “Early identification is key and right now the best chance for a cure is early detection and surgical resection. Early-stage lung cancer may not remain early for long, so take action now.”

There are ways to reduce risk for lung cancer that should serve as a checklist to anyone concerned about their health. One of the primary causes of lung cancer is smoking and vaping. Quitting smoking makes a positive impact on lung health. Avoiding secondhand smoke is another factor in reducing lung cancer risks. It is important to have your home or residence tested for radon. This odorless gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in smokers and the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Finally, lower exposure to cancer-causing substances at work or in the home. These substances include asbestos, arsenic, nickel and chromium.

Advances in the therapies for lung cancer are encouraging. “Treatments for lung cancer, despite the stage, are advancing at an incredible pace,” Dr. Bowling said. “Hope and optimism for not only long-term control of the disease, but for a cure is in the realm of possibility.”

For more information about the risks and prevention of lung cancer, or if you do not have a primary care provider, please contact the Prevention Clinic at Vidant Cancer Care (252) 816-RISK (7475)