Although lung cancer kills more people than breast, colon, pancreatic and prostate cancers combined, the most effective early detection method for lung cancer has not been recognized by the government - until now. Heading into August, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued its long awaited draft recommendation that people considered at high risk for lung cancer get screened for the disease using a low dose CT scan.
"This is the most significant advancement in fighting lung cancer to date," says Dr. Bill Mayfield, a thoracic surgeon at Wellstar in Atlanta, Georgia. "With these scans that use the latest technology with the lowest radiation exposure to patients, we can detect an early lung cancer, as small as grain of sand, at a curable stage."
Historically, lung cancer’s five-year survival rate has been only 16 percent, primarily because the majority of lung cancers are diagnosed at a stage when it is too late for effective treatment.
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