The Importance of Lung Cancer Screening

Baptist Health Paducah: The Importance of Lung Cancer Screening

Cardiothoracic surgeon Nicholas Lopez III, MD, encourages smokers to get screened for lung cancer, explaining how detecting cancer earlier improves a patient’s chance of survival.

The Importance of Lung Cancer Screening Health Talks Transcript

Nicholas M. Lopez III, MD, Cardiothoracic Surgery
Before lung cancer screenings, folks were being found with tumors that are untreatable, and unfortunately, two-thirds of those can’t get a surgical option to treat the whole cancer. The importance of a lung cancer screening is so we can find that tumor early, and if we can find that tumor early, we have a much better chance of giving a long-term chance of survival. Who’s eligible for a lung cancer screening? Anybody over the age of 55, somebody who’s smoking or has smoked within the last 15 years, and then has smoked at least 30 pack years. Let’s say, for instance, you smoked a pack per day, and you’ve smoked for 30 years, that’s 30 pack years.

Tansie Korth, Paducah, Kentucky
I knew from smoking that it does have a higher rate of cancer, and I had smoked for like 40 years.

Dr. Lopez
Lung cancer grows silently, and so the value of a CT scan is, much like for Tansie, we were able to find this cancer well before it had a chance to show its ugly head. And we could actually identify it, watch it closely, and then make the proper treatment for her.

I had surgery, and they took an upper section lobe out of my lung. Two months later, they went back in and did some more testing around the lymph nodes, and everything was benign. And I recommend anybody that smokes to be screened periodically to catch it on the front end, so maybe you can extend your life for quite some time.

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