Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. It’s also largely preventable.
To understand lung cancer, you first have to know how your lungs work. Your lungs are two organs located inside either side of your rib cage. They inflate and take in oxygen when you inhale, and deflate and give off carbon dioxide when you exhale.
Lung cancer is a disease related to uncontrollable, abnormal cell growth in one or both of your lungs. These cells, as they continue to grow and spread, prevent your lungs from functioning normally.
Lung Cancer Screenings
Should you get a lung cancer screening?
Since lung cancer shows very few signs early in the disease, many people get diagnosed late, at the point where it has already progressed. Early detection is key to survival.
Talk to your doctor about a low-dose CT scan if you:
- Are a Medicare/Medicaid patient age 55 to 77 years old, currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years, and smoked at least one pack of cigarettes a day for the past 30 years.
- Are a commercial insurance patient age 55 to 80 years old, currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years, and smoked at least one pack of cigarettes a day for the past 30 years.
Most major insurance plans - including Medicare - cover this screening for people at high-risk for lung cancer. A doctor's order is required.
If you have further questions or would like to schedule a screening, please contact our lung cancer patient navigator at 419-824-8851.
Download our lung cancer screening guide.
What else can you do to prevent lung cancer?
- Stop smoking. Quitting at any age can greatly reduce your risk for lung cancer.
- Have your home tested for radon. Radon is a natural gas that arises from rock, soil, and water. It can collect in unsafe levels in any building.
- Know what chemicals you're exposed to in your workplace. Talk to your employer about worksite wellness and safety procedures.
- Be aware of your family’s history of lung cancer. Discuss lung cancer detection and diagnostics with your doctor.
Smoking is the overwhelming cause of lung cancer.
Smoking damages your lung tissues and your body is no longer able to repair itself over time.
Far less frequent, but possible, non-smokers can also be diagnosed with lung cancer. These other causes are:
- Second-hand smoke inhalation
- Exposure to asbestos
- Radon inhalation
- Family history
What are some lung cancer symptoms?
Though symptoms may not be observed in the early stages of lung cancer, signs can include:
- Chest pain
- Coughing up blood
- Weight loss
- Hoarse voice
- A persistent cough
- Wet, smoker’s cough
- Bone pain
Are you a candidate?
Learn about genetic counseling.