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Lung Cancer Scans Get Thumbs Up For Older, Heavy Smokers

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The American Cancer Society is now recommending lung cancer screenings, but only for current and former heavy smokers between the ages of 55 and 74.

With more than 160,000 people dying of the deadliest cancer in the U.S. yearly, the screening is recommended for current heavy smokers only, and will come along with a no-holds-barred chat about the risks of smoking and the benefits of a lung screen—and of course, butting out once and for all!

Screenings for this select older group who smoked at least one pack of cigarettes every day for the past 30 years (or the equivalent of) is being suggested in the form of an annual, low-dose CT scan that could detect the disease early and cut the chances of lung cancer death by 20-percent.

“We believe insurance companies should cover this test for the right people – not for everybody,” says said Dr. Richard Wender, family medicine chief at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. “…Lung cancer is fairly rare before age 55, so “the benefits of screening are going to be less if you start at a younger age.”

Currently the lung cancer scans cost $100 to as much as $400. They are not covered by Medicare or private insurers, and many would argue that if you smoke, it’s your choice. However, Dr. Wender claims that a scare from a lung screening scan “is a great motivator for people to quit smoking…it really causes people to change and take a look at their behavior.”

On top of that, he reminds the public about the Cancer Society mandate to counsel smokers on the methods and benefits of quitting smoking, as well as the fact that the majority of lung cancer deaths occur from late or undetected cancer.

Source: Fox News


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