Early detection may be your best chance for surviving lung cancer.
As reported in the landmark National Lung Cancer Screening Trials study (NLST) published in the New England Journal of Medicine in July 2011, early detection enabled by low-dose CT scans resulted in a 20% reduction in lung cancer mortality. However, there are issues with utilizing CT scans. These include:
- High false-positive rate
- Out-of-pocket cost for patients
- Radiation exposure
Consider these facts about lung cancer in the United States:
- About 226,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed annually*1
- Approximately 160,000 people die of lung cancer each year*1
- Lung cancer kills more people each year than breast, prostate, colon, kidney and melanoma cancers combined*2
- Smokers account for approximately 80% of lung cancer deaths*1
- About 85% of people diagnosed with lung cancer will die within 5 years after diagnosis*3, *4
- If lung cancer is diagnosed early, while it is still localized (stage I), the 5-year survival rate increases to approximately 50%*5
- Currently, only 16% of lung cancers are diagnosed early
- Early lung cancer detection has the potential to save many lives every year.
1 American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org.
3 American Cancer Society, 2007, Cancer Facts and Figures 2007, Atlanta: American Cancer Society.
4 Waun Ki Hong MD and Anne S. Tsao MD, March 2008, http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec04/ch057/ch057a.html Section: Lung and Airway Disorders, Subject: Cancer of the lungs, Topics: Lung Cancer
5 Cancer facts and figures, 2008, http://www.cancer.org/downloads/STT/2008CAFFfinalsecured.pdf, pg. 14-15