Early-detection screening is highly encouraged within Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month
Published: Nov. 12, 2023 at 11:48 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) - “Cancer” can be one of the most daunting terms in the English vocabulary. The American Cancer Society estimates over 240,000 new cases of lung cancer in the U.S.

The disease can present itself in several different ways.

“If they have a nagging cough that’s not going away that is different from a usual cough,” says Dr. Scott Ferguson, Pulmonologist, UW Health If they cough up blood, if they have a change in the phlegm or the mucus that they cough up.”

With certain cancer screenings, the disease’s damage can be limited.

“Lung cancer screening has been shown in a number of studies over the last decade to reduce the mortality of lung cancer,” Dr. Ferguson said. “So if you happen to get lung cancer, the best chance you have at a cure is finding it though screening or finding it before it becomes symptomatic.”

After a conversation with a primary care provider, the screening process can quickly follow.

“You go to a CT scanner, they will ask a couple of questions, you lie down on the scanning bed and then the scan takes less than five minutes, and then you’re done,” Dr. Ferguson said.

He said while screening is a helpful tool, the most important thing a patient can do is take action immediately.

“If cancer is allowed to spread, if you wait for symptoms, then the ability to treat it starts to decline and starts to drop off,” Dr. Fergsuon said. “If you’re at risk and you’re eligible for screening, we strongly encourage that”

For more information on lung cancer and screening, click here.