Delaware launches campaign to raise lung cancer screening awareness
A low-dose CT scan can detect lung cancer in its early stages and reduce the risk of dying by at least 20%, but only 14% of eligible Delawareans have been screened for lung cancer.
To help improve those numbers, Delaware’s Division of Public Health is launching a new campaign to raise lung cancer screening awareness.
Delaware Public Media’s Joe Irizarry is joined this week by ChristianaCare physician and researcher Dr. Heather Bittner Fagan to discuss the importance of getting screened for lung cancer.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of all cancer deaths among men and women, but many don’t get screened for it.
That's according to Dr. Heather Bittner Fagan, a practicing physician, faculty member, and researcher at ChristianaCare.
"One of the reasons that lung cancer is so deadly is that by the time it shows symptoms that means that it's spread, and by far general principle cancer is going to be more treatable when it's caught earlier. In the early stages it's not symptomatic," said Bittner Fagan.
For screenings, you can get a low-dose CT scan which helps detect lung cancer in its early stages and reduce the risk of dying by at least 20%.
If you're a smoker, you should get a screening, and if it runs in your family, you should also get a screening as there are genetic risks like other cancers.
Bittner Fagan says nonsmokers can also be at risk.
"There's also small cell lung cancer which tends to be less smoking related. Across the board, there are other exposures and risks for lung cancer. Namely, we know that exposure to asbestos, exposure to radon puts people at higher risk," said Bittner Fagan.
Bittner Fagan adds that, like all cancers, there are some genetic risks for lung cancer.
If you are diagnosed with lung cancer treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.