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Lung Cancer Myths & Facts

There’s a lot of misconception about lung cancer and screening exams. This page addresses some myths & facts so you can have real answers about lung cancer.

“I’m fine – I smoke and don’t have a cough or other issues”
CT lung cancer screening is specifically for those without any symptoms. People who have potentially cancerous nodules or tumors in their lungs typically do not feel anything or have symptoms until the cancer has spread. If you are in a high risk group, consider screening even if your health is perfect.

“I stopped smoking a decade ago. I’m okay.”
The majority of lung cancer victims are ex-smokers. Approximately 10% of men, and 20% of women with lung cancer never smoked.

“It’s too late to quit smoking.”
Quitting has immediate benefits including improved circulation, breathing, and more. Ten years after quitting, your odds of developing lung cancer drop by half (50%).

“Nothing was found on my CT lung screening. I don’t need to test further.”
Actually, even if you quit years ago, lung cancer can arise. If you are a current or former smoker, it’s prudent to get a CT lung screening yearly. Your doctor can help you make this decision. Important to note: Medicare and most insurance companies cover a yearly CT lung screening exam.

“If they find lung cancer, it’s a death sentence anyway. So why get screened?”
This is one of the more pervasive myths out there. Many former and current smokers say they know the dangers, and figure they are going to die anyway. However – and this is crucial – if lung cancer is caught early enough there is up to a 92% chance of survival.

“It’s OK to smoke marijuana.”
Smoking marijuana may raise lung cancer risk, and many who smoke pot also smoke cigarettes.

“Is smoking a pipe or cigar the same as a cigarette?”
These items also put you risk for cancers of the lung, mouth, throat, and esophagus. Cigars also have a higher risk factor for heart disease.

“Do things show up on the test that are not cancer? Can I trust the test?”
Many adults have spots on the lungs which are not cancer. Guidelines help our expert radiologists at RMI determine if a spot is more likely than not to be cancer, and your physician is informed of the findings in the report. Your physician will then discuss your results from the CT lung screening exam with you.

Lung Cancer by the numbers

60%    Number of lung cancer patients who are former smokers who quite decades earlier.
13%     Lung cancer cases from causes other than smoking (radon gas, asbestos, etc.)
33%     Lung cancer accounts for 33% of all cancer deaths across all ethnic groups.
16%     Lung cancers diagnosed at earliest, most curable stage. Waiting decrease survival.
20%    Reduction in lung cancer deaths by using CT Lung Screening vs. x-ray alone.

Learn more about CT Lung Screening at RMI

There’s a lot of misconception about lung cancer and screening exams. This page addresses some myths & facts so you can have real answers about lung cancer.

“I’m fine – I smoke and don’t have a cough or other issues”
CT lung cancer screening is specifically for those without any symptoms. People who have potentially cancerous nodules or tumors in their lungs typically do not feel anything or have symptoms until the cancer has spread. If you are in a high risk group, consider screening even if your health is perfect.

“I stopped smoking a decade ago. I’m okay.”
The majority of lung cancer victims are ex-smokers. Approximately 10% of men, and 20% of women with lung cancer never smoked.

“It’s too late to quit smoking.”
Quitting has immediate benefits including improved circulation, breathing, and more. Ten years after quitting, your odds of developing lung cancer drop by half (50%).

“Nothing was found on my CT lung screening. I don’t need to test further.”
Actually, even if you quit years ago, lung cancer can arise. If you are a current or former smoker, it’s prudent to get a CT lung screening yearly. Your doctor can help you make this decision. Important to note: Medicare and most insurance companies cover a yearly CT lung screening exam.

“If they find lung cancer, it’s a death sentence anyway. So why get screened?”
This is one of the more pervasive myths out there. Many former and current smokers say they know the dangers, and figure they are going to die anyway. However – and this is crucial – if lung cancer is caught early enough there is up to a 92% chance of survival.

“It’s OK to smoke marijuana.”
Smoking marijuana may raise lung cancer risk, and many who smoke pot also smoke cigarettes.

“Is smoking a pipe or cigar the same as a cigarette?”
These items also put you risk for cancers of the lung, mouth, throat, and esophagus. Cigars also have a higher risk factor for heart disease.

“Do things show up on the test that are not cancer? Can I trust the test?”
Many adults have spots on the lungs which are not cancer. Guidelines help our expert radiologists at RMI determine if a spot is more likely than not to be cancer, and your physician is informed of the findings in the report. Your physician will then discuss your results from the CT lung screening exam with you.

Lung Cancer by the numbers

60%    Number of lung cancer patients who are former smokers who quite decades earlier.
13%     Lung cancer cases from causes other than smoking (radon gas, asbestos, etc.)
33%     Lung cancer accounts for 33% of all cancer deaths across all ethnic groups.
16%     Lung cancers diagnosed at earliest, most curable stage. Waiting decrease survival.
20%    Reduction in lung cancer deaths by using CT Lung Screening vs. x-ray alone.

Learn more about CT Lung Screening at RMI

 

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