Lung Cancer

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White RibbonAccording to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women by far, making up almost 25% of all cancer deaths. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.

In partnership with the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Health, and healthcare and community organizations across New Jersey, ScreenNJ aims to increase screening for lung cancer, reduce cancer mortality rates, reduce disparities, and educate New Jersey residents about the importance of cancer screening, early detection, and prevention.

Low dose CT-Scans

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends yearly lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scans for people who:

Have a history of heavy smoking, i.e., history of “30 pack years” of smoking, where “pack years” is the number of packs smoked per day multiplied by the number of years smoked, smoke now or have quit within the past 15 years, and Are between 55 and 80 years old.

The cost of low-dose CT scans is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance plans, for individuals at high risk for lung cancer and meeting certain criteria. If you think you may meet the criteria for screening please talk to your healthcare provider.

Smoking Cessation

The most effective way to reduce lung cancer risk is to quit smoking. Because of the proven linkage between smoking and cancer, there is no single intervention more effective at reducing cancer mortality than tobacco cessation.

Smokers who quit before age 40 reduce their chance of dying early from smoking-related diseases such as cancer by about 90 percent. Those who quit by age 45–54 reduce their chance of dying early by about two-thirds. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, quitting smoking is the single most important step a smoker can take to improve the length and quality of his or her life. As soon as you quit, your body begins to repair the damage caused by smoking.

You can learn more about how to quit smoking by contacting the Rutgers Tobacco Dependence Program at 732-235- 8222 or https://www.njquitline.org/.