November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month
By Jenille Brugger, Holy Rosary Healthcare Oncology Nurse Navigator
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, accounting for 25 percent of all cancer deaths. According to the American Cancer Society, more people die each year of lung cancer than colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. Unfortunately, most lung cancer is discovered after symptoms occur. During Lung Cancer Awareness Month, we want to raise awareness about screening that can allow cancer to be identified in the initial stages when treatments can be more effective.
For those who meet the criteria, annual cancer screenings can help find lung cancer at the initial stages. Below are the requirements for candidates for lung screening:
- Age 50-77
- At least a 20-pack year smoking history (two pack per day for 10 years or one pack per day for 20 years)
- Current smoker or have smoked in the past 15 years
- No signs or symptoms of lung cancer (unexplained weight loss of more than 15 pounds in the last year, or recent hemoptysis (coughing up of blood))
Holy Rosary is part of a National Lung Screening Program. For those who participate, exams will be entered into a database, and letters will be sent out for follow-up reminders. Contact your medical provider if you are interested in lung cancer screening. For more information, contact Jenille Brugger, RN Holy Rosary Healthcare Lung Cancer Screening Coordinator, at 406-233-3002.