(WYTV) – Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Each year, more people die from lung cancer than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined.
It truly is deadly, but there is promising news. We are seeing fewer cases of lung cancer and deaths from it every year — partly because more people are choosing to quit smoking.
Smoking accounts for 90% of lung cancer cases.
“The holy grail, so to speak, is to find it at the earliest stage possible, where it can be surgically removed or treated with radiation or ablation for a cure,” Dr. Karen Swanson said.
That’s often not the case because there usually aren’t any early symptoms. By the time a patient shows symptoms, 80% of the time, the cancer has spread.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently lowered the lung cancer screening guidelines from age 55 and a history of smoking a pack a day for 30 years, to age 50 and a history of smoking a pack a day for 20 years.