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Lung cancer bigger killer than breast cancer

Written by Community Health Network on 5/14/2014 11:00:00 AM

On Tuesday, The American Lung Association, in partnership with CVS Caremark unveiled LUNG FORCE, a new initiative to make lung cancer in women a public health priority, drive policy change and increase research funding.

U.S. women still see breast cancer as a bigger killer than lung cancer, despite it being the number one cancer killer of men and women. More than 108,000 women in the will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year in the U.S. and, on average, less than half will be alive next year. Not to mention, lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the State of Indiana. continue reading ...


Big breakthrough for finding lung cancers: Low-dose CT scans

Written by Community Health Network on 2/26/2014 8:00:00 AM

Computed tomography (a.k.a. CT scan) is not new technology, but low-dose CT scans for lung screening are part of a new national recommendation for long-term smokers and even those who stopped smoking 15 years ago. A low-dose computed tomography (CT) lung screening machine looks like a giant donut that you pass through. But within a few minutes the lung scan is over. No needles or punctures, and the open concept really shouldn't be a problem for anyone who is claustrophobic.

So, why get a low dose CT?

Cancer specialists say the low dose CT scans can significantly reduce deaths due to lung cancer because the detail on these scans is more detailed than what you see on a chest X-ray. The low dose helical CT uses X-rays to obtain a multiple-image scan of the entire chest during a seven to fifteen second breath-hold. A standard chest X-ray requires only a sub-second breath-hold, but produces a single image of the whole chest in which anatomic structures overlie one another. The goal of the low dose CT scan is to detect abnormal growths. Not all of these growths or nodules are cancerous.

In fact, finding a nodule is not uncommon, especially for Hoosiers, because the smoking rate is above the national average. This statistic underscores the need to improve lung screening rates in Indiana. Lung cancer remains the number one cancer in the state and the number one cause of cancer deaths. If a CT scan comes back suspicious then the Community Cancer Care physicians have a fast acting response. The next step is to determine if the growth is cancerous, and if so, to stage it.

Jack Wei, lung cancer expert at Community“We take a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care at Community,” says Jack Wei, MD, radiation oncologist (right) and an MD Anderson Cancer Network™ certified physician. “Detecting lung cancer at its earliest stage and having it removed surgically dramatically improves the survival rates.”

While smoking rates are going down, the chances of a man developing lung cancer is one in thirteen, and for a woman it is one in sixteen. Those odds can be improved if you get a baseline lung screening. Know your risk. Don’t wait. Because cancer waits for no one.

Schedule a lung screening

At Community Cancer Care the pursuit is on. Get your cancer answers by calling for a lung screening appointment at 800-777-7775.


10 common lung cancer questions

Written by Community Health Network on 2/12/2014 6:30:00 PM

We sat down with radiation oncologist and MD Anderson Cancer Network® certified physician, Jack Wei, M.D., to discuss questions surrounding the relationship between smoking and lung cancer.

  1. Is there a link between lung cancer and smoking?
  2. Yes, smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer. There can be other factors, but this is the number one cause.
     
  3. Are smokers at the highest risk for lung cancer?
  4. Yes, current smokers are the highest risk. Former smokers who’ve quit within the past 15 years, are between 55-80 years of age and have a 30 pack-year history of smoking are at a very high risk, too.
     
  5. Are people who have quit smoking still at risk for lung cancer?
  6. Yes, quitters are still at risk. Their risk is lowered when they stop smoking for an extended period of time, but it’s still recommended they get a lung screening to determine the health of their lungs.
     
  7. Are people exposed to second-hand smoke at risk for lung cancer?
  8. Yes, frequent exposure to second-hand smoke can put people at risk for cancer development.
     
  9. Is lung cancer common?
  10. Yes, it’s actually the #1 cancer killer in Indiana. There were 5,500 cases last year in our state and 4,110 deaths.
     
  11. What are lung cancer symptoms?
  12. There can be many, but shortness of breath, frequent cough, coughing blood or pain in chest are most common.
     
  13. What are the most common types of lung cancer?
  14. There are two common forms. Non-small cell is the most common, affecting 85 percent of cases. Only 15 percent of lung cancer patients are diagnosed with the second called small cell.
     
  15. How is lung cancer treated?
  16. If the cancer is just in the lung, it is generally treated through surgery or radiation therapy. If it has spread from the lung to other areas of the body, chemotherapy is used.
     
  17. How do I know if I am at high risk, or have lung cancer?
  18. Getting a lung screening is the best way to identify your cancer risk and find cancerous cells. Community has low-dose CT scans for $99. 

  19. What is a low-dose CT scan?
  20. A high-speed CT scanner is used to capture high-resolution images of the lungs with limited ionizing radiation. A radiation oncologist will then review your images for any abnormalities. The examination is simple, safe and painless (no needles) and there are no diet restrictions. The scan itself takes less than one minute. You can schedule your appointment online right now!

Ask Dr. Wei

Have another lung cancer question? Ask our expert >>


Cancer answers: Are you at risk for lung cancer?

Written by Community Health Network on 2/10/2014 7:15:00 PM

Jack Wei, M.D., is a radiation oncologist and MD Anderson Cancer Network™ certified physician at Community Health Network.

In light of the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General's Report on smoking and health, and the recent announcement from CVS that they will ban tobacco products from their stores by October, we asked our experts to weigh in. Are people who smoke really more likely to get lung cancer?

Who is at the highest risk for lung cancer?

"Current or former smokers are at highest risk for lung cancer development," said Dr. Jack Wei. "This risk does decrease with time after a patient quits smoking; however, the overall risk of lung cancer development never returns to the same level as someone who has never smoked. Nevertheless, it is clear that quitting smoking does significantly decrease the risk of lung cancer development."

The American Cancer Society Cancer Surveillance Report for 2013 states there were 5,500 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed last year in Indiana, and 4,110 men and women died from lung cancer. Individuals identified as high risk are defined as current smokers or former smokers who have quit within the past 15 years, are between 55-80 years of age, and have a 30 pack-year history of smoking (e.g., 1 pack per day for 30 years or 2 packs per day for 15 years).

"We are encouraging these adults in our community to be screened for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan," said Wei. "Studies show that low-dose CT scans are superior to chest x-rays for lung cancer screening."

Schedule a $99 lung screening

The new guidelines for lung cancer screenings encourage those at risk to get a low-dose CT scan. If you are 50 to 80 years of age and have a history of smoking, a screening can provide peace of mind and/or early diagnosis. Community offers a painless, low-dose screening and now, you can schedule only two hours in advance. Schedule an appointment online today!

Tags: risk factors , smoking | Posted in: Dr. Jack Wei , Lung Cancer

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To make an appointment with an MD Anderson Cancer Network® certified physician at Community, call 800-777-7775 today!



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