Health Chat- Screenings Offer Hope for Lungs

Posted Apr 29, 2015 | Posted in Diseases & Treatments, News & Events

How deadly is lung cancer?

Of the 1.8 million people who will be diagnosed worldwide this year, 1.6 million will die. That’s roughly the size of Philadelphia.


Dr. Douglas Fein, a radiation oncologist with Rex Cancer Center, and Dr. Marvaretta Stevenson, a Medical Instructor in the Division of Hematology/ Oncology, Department of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, shared facts and medical advice on lung cancer screenings at this month’s Health Chat presentations, which are put on quarterly to introduce different doctors and give information on different topics.

Lung Cancer

  • Leading cause of cancer deaths
  • 5 year survival rate is only 16.8%
  • Symptoms include persistent coughing, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, wheezing, chest pain, fatigue, pneumonia, hoarseness
  • Risk Factors- tobacco smoking (current or past use), radon, occupational carcinogens such as asbestos, arsenic or nickel, family history of lung cancer, lung diseases such as COPD or pulmonary fibrosis, history of other cancers
  • 90% of cases are attributed to smoking. About 20% of the U.S. population smokes.

Why get screened?

Getting screened allows doctors to find the disease at an early stage before symptoms are able to develop. Treatments for cancer usually work best at earlier stages of the disease.

Low Dose CT Scans

  • In trials, newly approved screenings have been effective in detecting lung caner
  • Group studies have shown that of 53,000 high risk people across 33 U.S. Medical Centers, there were 20% fewer deaths among those who received CT scans than those getting chest x-rays.

Candidates for Screenings

  • Must be between the ages of 55 and 74
  • Must have had a 30 pack-year smoking history
  • Must still be smoking or have quit within the last 15 year

Johnston Health is proud to host Health Chats, a series of informative talks by surgeons, specialists and other medical providers.  These quarterly presentations offer the opportunity to meet doctors, ask questions, and hear about new services available in Johnston County.

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