Lung cancer: Knowing the risks in the era of COVID-19
GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - With so much focus on lung health right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, experts say it’s important to know your risks for developing lung cancer, as well.
Medical professionals at Vidant Health say lung cancer is the second most common cancer across the U.S. and the leading cause of cancer death. On average, about 13 people in North Carolina die from lung cancer every day. Doctors say one of the best steps you can take to protect yourself is to know your risks.
Smokers are at high risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer, but it’s not uncommon for non-smokers to be diagnosed, too. Experts say secondhand smoke and gas in your home can also play a factor. Doctors say it’s important to get tested for radon in your home because that is the second leading cause of lung cancer, especially in non-smokers.
Researchers estimate secondhand smoke contributes to about 7,300 cancer diagnoses and radon to about 2,900.
Other substances that could increase your exposure to cancer include asbestos, arsenic, nickel and chromium.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task force recommends yearly lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scan for people who have a history of heavy smoking (at least a 30 pack year smoking history-packs per day times number of years smoked), smoke now or have quit within the past 15 years and are between 55-80 years old.
If you believe you may be at risk or meet the requirements, talk to your primary care provider about getting a screening. For more information or if you do not have a primary care provider, call the Prevention Clinic at Vidant Cancer Care at (252) 816-7475.
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