Study: Early Lung Cancer screenings save thousands of lives

Study: Early Lung Cancer screenings saved thousands of lives last year
Study: Early Lung Cancer screenings saved thousands of lives last year
Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 4:48 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A new study from the British Medical Journal (BMJ) shows more than 10,000 have been saved in the U.S. since Lung Cancer screenings were introduced for individuals at high risk.

Medical experts say that Lung Cancer is the most common cause of death among people who are diagnosed with any type of cancer.

Historically, the rate of death comes from late-stage detection of the disease. But an increased number of early screenings promise to turn that number around.

“The findings did show that, so far, lung cancer screening works,” says Dr. Iftekhar Ahmad, a radiation oncologist with OSF HealthCare. “With the people who are at risk we’re finding cancers that would not otherwise have been found, and we’re finding them at an early stage. As with many other cancers, treatment for lung cancer at an early stage has a much better prognosis so if you can treat lung cancer at stage 1 or 2 versus 3 or 4, you’re going to save a lot more lives.”

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends people who smoke or have a history of smoking, to screen for Lung Cancer.

“The thought was it’s such a common cancer, such a deadly cancer, what can we do, there’s something we can do to try and improve the chances people have, so that’s where it started,” says Dr. Ahmad.

Dr. Ahmad is optimistic that rates will improve.

“Over time I feel like the rates will go up and that means we’re going to catch a lot more lung cancer at an earlier stage.”