If your friends and family aren’t telling you, I will: Quit Today! The cancer that causes more deaths than any other in the US is lung cancer. Smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer and it contributes to deaths by stroke and heart attack. New research to be printed in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery has been studying the use of CT (computed tomography) scans to screen for tumors in heavy, long-term smokers and this could have a huge impact on reducing deaths due to lung cancer. Of course, not smoking at all will have the largest impact, but if you still smoke, the National Cancer Institute’s ongoing randomized Lung Cancer Screening Trial showed that getting CT scans on a regular basis reduced deaths by 20%. The researchers of the newest study used three dimensional CT scans to look for histoplasmosis which is harder to diagnose on traditional CT scans because the nodules look like tumors. The study showed that using the proper protocol, doctors were able to avoid unnecessary biopsies of non-cancerous nodules and find tumors early enough for them to be removed.
As always with new research, more needs to be done and the researchers cautioned that if this screening becomes standard a very strict protocol for it will need to be followed to prevent unnecessary biopsies. Currently, there are no truly effective screenings for lung cancer, although there is a cancer screen and tumor marker test that can alert you to possible cancer. There is also a DNA genetic predisposition test which can point out specific areas where you may have a tendency to particular diseases, but the bottom line is that whether you have a predisposition to lung cancer or not, smoking is THE primary cause. Get tested and watch out for your risk factors, but first, reduce your chances and quit today!
Written by www.labtestingnow.com