Kicking butts is the best way to prevent lung cancer

Buddy Check 7
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 5:18 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 7, 2023 at 5:26 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - In 2023, approximately 240,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with lung cancer according to Marshfield Clinic Health System Medical Oncologist-Hematologist, Dr. Santosh Gowda. He said approximately 150-thousand of them will die.

Lung cancer is the number one killer among men and women in the United States. Luckily there are some things you can do to help prevent yourself and loved ones from getting it.

“Pretty much by the time you have symptoms, it’s already too late,” said Dr. Gowda. “The people who die of lung cancer is more than the people who die of prostate cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer combined.”

Smoking is the leading cause of getting lung cancer. The next largest factor is secondhand smoke or exposure to someone else who smokes over a long period of time.

The current screening guidelines were revised in 2021 to include more people. “If you smoke a pack per day for 20 years or more and then if you’re a current smoker or quit smoking in the past 15 years and you are in the age group of 50 and 80 then you qualify for the low dose screening test,” said Dr. Gowda.

The screening detects cancer at an early stage. “Lung cancer is a cancer mostly consisting of smokers. 80 to 90% of people who die from lung cancer is due to smoking cigarettes,” said Dr. Gowda.

Dr. Gowda believes lung cancer will diminish over time because smoking is also a decreasing habit. However, he said that not enough data on other smoking devices like vaping is available to establish screening guidelines. Dr. Gowda said avoiding all smoking products is the safest.

“So by no means, lung cancer screening is a substitution for not smoking. if you want to prevent cancer. lung cancer screening is only detected at a very early stage. but the key is prevention,” said Dr. Gowda.

Anyone having a difficult time quitting smoking should seek help. Dr. Gowda added that if you fall within the new screening guidelines, talk to your family doctor about receiving a low-dose lung cancer CT-scan.