November Brings Awareness to Highly Prevalent Lung Cancer
Tuesday, November 8, 2022
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, bringing the spotlight to the country's deadliest form of cancer. There will be an estimated 130,000 lung cancer deaths in 2022, including more than 8,400 in Oregon, according to the American Cancer Society.
Michael Skokan, pulmonary critical-care physician at The Oregon Clinic, said many of these deaths are preventable and the first action people can take is to stop smoking.
Skokan said the disease historically has presented some challenges to doctors.
"When you find it at an early stage, you can treat it," Skokan said. "But over the years we hadn't been good at doing that because people don't really have symptoms, and once they have symptoms it's usually a later stage and it's spread and its much, much more difficult to treat and sometimes it's not treatable."
Skokan said people who have not yet quit smoking and meet certain criteria are able to get screened for the cancer with a C-T scan of their lungs. The scan helps doctors identify early-stage lung cancers and the tool has been around for about a decade.
COVID-19 has an effect on lung health but no direct link with cancer. However, Skokan said, the pandemic did affect treatment, with many people avoiding the doctor's office.
"People who got other things during that time when everything was really problematic in getting care - that affected a lot of people who didn't necessarily have COVID but got other things," he said, "including lung disease or lung cancer, and couldn't get treated as timely as we had been able to do in the past."
While the number of deaths is still high, Skokan noted that they have been going down in recent years for a few reasons.
"Number one, less people smoking," Skokan said. "So we're starting to see the effects of that. And the other thing is that our treatments are getting better. So people who present with lung cancer - we now have more options for treatment and people are living longer."
get more stories like this via email
Christmas is a little more than two weeks away, and toy drives around the country are in full swing. A North Dakota organizer shares some things to …
A federal judge in Nevada has dealt three tribal nations a legal setback in their efforts to stop what could be the construction of the country's larg…
Hoosiers could get their holiday trees from any of about 200 tree farms in the state, according to the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association…
Reports from the Insurance Commissioner's office and the state Attorney General reveal an analysis of what they call "the true costs of health care" i…
Connecticut lawmakers are reluctant to approve new emission standards that would require 90% cleaner emissions from internal-combustion engines and re…
Another controversial move in Florida's education system is a proposal to drop sociology, the study of social life and the causes and consequences of …
There are at least three victims after a shooting incident that happened at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus on Wednesday. By afternoon…
There's a new resource for Nebraska communities and organizations facing environmental justice issues: the Heartland Environmental Justice Center (HEJ…