Lung cancer kills more people than breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer combined. In fact, Tennessee ranks third in the nation for lung cancer diagnoses, and fourth in deaths related to lung cancer.
Historically, lung cancer is known for low survival rates and limited treatment options, but recent advancements in screening, targeted chemotherapy, focused radiation and minimally invasive surgery are changing the outlook for patients diagnosed with lung cancer. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and Parkridge Health is encouraging eligible patients to reach out to their physician about lung cancer screenings.
“The key to fighting lung cancer is finding tumors and nodules early when we have more treatment options available,” said Dr. Minerva Covarrubias, pulmonologist with Parkridge Health. “Lung cancer typically does not produce symptoms until it is more advanced and in a later stage. This is why screening for lung cancer is so important. Screening allows us to find nodules the size of a dime when they are the most treatable.”
Lung cancer screenings are simple and painless for the patient and require no preparation beforehand. Low dose CT scans offer less radiation than traditional CT scans and produces a better quality image for physicians. A lung cancer screening should be a regular preventative health check for those who are at higher risk for developing lung cancer, just like a mammogram or colonoscopy. Lung cancer screening is recommended for those ages 50-80 who have smoked an average of one pack a day for 20 years, including people who still smoke or have quit within the last 15 years.
Parkridge Health offers low dose CT scans in communities throughout the Chattanooga area. To find a location near you, please call MedLine at (423) 622-6848 or visit our Lung Cancer Screening in Chattanooga page.