Early screening can help prevent lung cancer

It's common knowledge that smoking isn't good for our health, and greatly increases the risk of getting lung cancer. About 80-90 percent of people that get lung cancer are smokers.

What a lot of people don't know is there's actually a way for early prevention of lung cancer available if people have a history of smoking.

Mary May, a registered nurse with the Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center, talks about the importance of lung cancer screening for high risk patients.

To be eligible for the Lung Cancer Screening program, a patient has to have the following:

  • Be between the ages of 55 to 77.
  • Have a smoking history of at least 30 pack years (one pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years.)
  • Must be a current smoker or one who quit smoking within the last 15 years.

There are two ways to enter Mercy Health's program. They can either go see their primary care provider and talk about it as an option, or  talk to a Mercy Health intake coordinator who can answer any questions that come up.

Since 2013, Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center screened more than 1,000 patients for lung cancer.  Out of those thousand, 32 were found to have lung cancer and able to be treated properly.

Other than the lung cancer screening program, there are other ways lunch cancer can be prevented.

For starters, quit smoking. Quitting is hard, but your chances of beating lung cancer significantly increase  with a plan and getting help. The great thing about the lungs is that once the damaging smoke stops entering the body daily, the lungs instantly start healing themselves.

For more information on the Lung Cancer Screening program, call (616) 685-5203. Visit MercyHealthLungScreening.com to see if you are a candidate for this screening.

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