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As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

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Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Putting Spotlight on Lung Cancer and How to Prevent It

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Tuesday, November 15, 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 nearly 2,000 in Minnesota, according to the American Cancer Society.

Michael Skokan, a 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 haven't yet quit 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, including lung disease or lung cancer, and couldn't get treated as timely as we had been able to do in the past," Skokan said.

While the number of deaths is still high, Skokan noted that it has been going down in recent years for a few reasons.

"Number one, less people smoking. So we're starting to see the effects of that. And the other thing is that our treatments are getting better," he said. "So people who present with lung cancer - we now have more options for treatment and people are living longer."


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House Bill passed with an overwhelming vote of 94-6, with three abstentions. Its companion, Senate Bill 159, passed unanimously with a vote of 34-0. (Chad Robertson/Adobe Stock)

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