Lung Cancer Screening & Prevention
Dr. Jorge Quesadadiscusses the importance of early detection of lung cancer and which individuals are at highest risk for the disease. In addition, he discusses common symptoms, probable causes, and comprehensive and personalized treatment options related to lung cancer.
Usually, the common cold or cough turns out to be nothing serious. But if you have been putting up with a cough for more than a few weeks, it may be time to see your doctor. Although the chronic cough is often a symptom of an allergy or a condition such as bronchitis, it could be one of the warning signs of lung cancer.
The most significant risk factor for lung cancer is smoking. Up to 90% of all lung cancers are thought to result from smoking. And it’s not just cigarette smoking. Daily cigar smoking also greatly increases risk. In addition, nonsmokers who are frequently exposed to secondhand smoke face an increased risk.
Other risk factors are:
Lung cancer typically does not cause symptoms in its early stages. The cancer is often advanced when symptoms do occur. These symptoms may also be signs of many other lung problems, so be sure to talk to your doctor if you experience any of these.
There is good news about lung cancer: It is potentially one of the most preventable cancers. Because smoking is its main cause, the best way to prevent lung cancer is simply to stay out of the smoke. Even if you have smoked for decades, stopping now can reduce your risk of developing lung cancer. Quitting also improves your chances of living longer, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Other methods of prevention include:
Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. If you smoke, quit now. Treatment is most effective when lung cancer is diagnosed early. Talk to you doctor if you think you may be at risk for developing the disease.
As with other types of cancer, early detection increases a patient’s chance of survival. Unfortunately, lung cancer is difficult to detect in its earliest stages, and it often is not discovered until it has spread to other tissues or organs. Fortunately, Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital has established a Lung Cancer Screening Program aimed at detecting lung nodules and potential lung cancer early allowing for a greater chance of being treated and cured. For more information about the Lung Cancer Screening Program at Memorial Hermann Southwest or to register for screening, call (713) 456-4028.Are you a candidate for Screening?Screenings are now being offered to current or former smokers 55 years of age or older who have smoked the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes a day for at least 30 years. If the candidate is a former smoker, he should have quit within the previous 15 years.
Diagnostic tools include:
Used to look inside the trachea and large airways in the lung for abnormal areas, a bronchoscope (a thin, lighted tube) is inserted through the nose or mouth into the trachea and lungs. Tissue samples may be taken for biopsy.
Under anesthesia, a tube is passed through a small incision at the base of the patient's neck. Lymph nodes in the chest are biopsied. This procedure helps doctors to stage the tumor and determine if surgery is an option.
Contact Us About Lung Cancer Screening.