Last September, CNN host Larry King announced that he'd recently been treated for lung cancer. Luckily, doctors had caught it at stage 1, after detecting it with a CT scan followed by a PET scan.
King underwent surgery to remove the tumor and 20 percent of his lung on July 17. Two weeks later, he was back at work without needing chemotherapy.
Unfortunately, until recently, only 16 percent of lung cancers were diagnosed early. That's one reason lung cancer is up there with digestive cancers as the most lethal; 155,870 people are expect to die from the disease in 2017.
The great news is that if you're at high risk for lung cancer, you can have a low-dose CT scan and detect the disease early on. That slashes the risk of death from lung cancer by 20 percent!
To spread the word, the American Lung Association has launched Saved by the Scan; they urge you to go to www.lung.org and take a quiz to see if you're a candidate.
What puts you at high risk? Quitting smoking recently is a reason to get tested, especially if you smoked in the past 15 years or smoked one pack per day for 30 years.
So is chronic exposure to secondhand smoke or to radon (have your home tested), exposure to certain industrial pollutants (asbestos, chromium, arsenic and nickel) and a family history.
And remember, it's never too late to quit. Go to www.lung.org to join "Freedom From Smoking" or search for YOU Can Quit at sharecare.com.
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