Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Care to Care, a Multi-Specialty Management company, is proud to observe November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Although lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women (second to prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women), it remains by far the leading cause of cancer death among both groups. Each year, more people die from lung cancer than from breast, prostate, and colon cancers combined. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2017, about 222,500 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. with about 155,870 deaths from lung cancer. Our goal, and the goal of this international health campaign is to increase understanding and awareness of the disease, encourage people to minimize their risk of developing lung cancer, and educate people on the appropriate lung cancer screening guidelines.

Care to Care emphasizes the importance of reducing one’s risk of developing lung cancer. The most effective way to do this is by not smoking. Smoking is by far the greatest risk factor for lung cancer, with an estimated 80% of lung cancer deaths resulting from smoking. The longer you smoke and the more packs per day you smoke, the greater your risk. Cigar smoking, pipe smoking, low-tar or “light” cigarettes, and menthol cigarettes are all as likely to cause lung cancer as regular cigarettes. Secondhand smoke is also a risk factor and is thought to cause more than 7,000 deaths from lung cancer each year. Other risk factors that should be minimized or eliminated include exposure to radon inside homes, exposure to asbestos (in mines, mills, textile plants, shipyards, and places where insulation is used), and exposure to other cancer causing agents in the workplace such as diesel exhaust, arsenic, cadmium, silica, vinyl chloride, nickel compounds, chromium compounds, coal products, mustard gas, and chloromethyl esthers.


The American Cancer Society (ACS) has issued guidelines for lung cancer screening with low-dose CT of the chest. This study is more effective than chest x-ray at detecting lung cancer, uses less radiation than a standard CT chest scan, and does not require the use of intravenous contrast dye. The ACS recommends an annual screening low-dose CT chest for people between the ages of 55 to 74 years old who have at least a 30 pack-year smoking history (pack-year equals the number of packs smoked per day multiplied by the number of years smoking), and are either still smoking or have quit smoking within the last 15 years. If you meet all of the above criteria, then talk to your doctor about your screening options. However, screening is not a good alternative to quitting smoking.  If you smoke, there are many programs and organizations available to provide counseling about quitting. For help quitting, call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.



Rachel S. Title, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Care to Care, LLC