|Rufus J. Mark, MD
“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States and a devastating diagnosis for more than 200,000 people each year,” says Virginia Moyer, MD, MPH, chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). “Sadly, nearly 90 percent of people who develop lung cancer die from the disease, in part because it often is not found until it is at an advanced stage. By screening those at high risk, we can find lung cancer at earlier stages when it is more likely to be treatable.”
The USPSTF recently posted a draft recommendation on lung cancer screening that calls for an annual low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan instead of a chest X-ray for people who are at high risk for lung cancer. For more information, visit the USPSTF website: www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org.
Locally, Baptist Beaumont Hospital is leading the way in cancer care by offering a Low-Dose CT Screening Program for those who may be at high risk for lung cancer. See page 6 for more information about this innovative program and other recommendations on cancer screenings.
As with many cancers, the earlier lung cancer is detected, the better the chances of survival. Historically, early-stage lung cancer was treated by surgery. However, with early detection, treatments are less invasive and have fewer complications.
Recent advances in high-dose, targeted radiation therapy have led to five-year survival rates that are comparable to surgery.
Baptist Beaumont Hospital offers surgery, chemotherapy and high-dose radiation to treat patients with lung cancer.
I encourage you to speak with your physician about which cancer screenings he or she recommends and to schedule them as soon as possible – they could save your life.
Rufus J. Mark, MD
Baptist Cancer Center and South Texas
Radiation Therapy Associates