LUNG CANCER: SCREENING & EARLY DETECTION

News — By on September 20, 2011 at 8:43 am

Even though early detection can save lives, there is currently no approved screening test for lung cancer that has been proven to improve survival or detect localized disease. There are studies underway, though, to find appropriate screening tools.

Early detection of lung cancer is critical for improving survival of this disease because only 15% of lung cancers are found when they are localized. Since there are few or no symptoms in the early stages of the disease, the majority of lung cancers are diagnosed in the late stages of the disease. Symptoms of later-stage disease may include a persistent cough, sputum streaked with blood, chest pain, voice change, and recurrent pneumonia or bronchitis.
Testing people who are known to be at high risk for developing lung cancer may help find tumors at an earlier stage when they are small and more easily treated.

Preventative measures such as quitting smoking and learning about environmental pollutants can be taken.
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