California Cancer Associates for Research & Excellence (cCARE) shares vital information about the leading cause of death by cancer
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, November 17, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — In 2021, an estimated 235,760 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States. With more Americans dying of lung cancer than breast, prostate and colorectal cancers combined, cCARE is doing its part to educate the public about the measures that can be taken to avoid this deadly disease and how to catch it before it spreads.
Dr. Joel Lamon, a medical oncologist at cCARE’s San Diego clinic, believes prevention and proper screening can help save lives.
“I often see patients whose diagnosis of lung cancer occurred too late for it to be cured,” said Dr. Lamon. “Sharing tips for prevention and increasing efforts to identify the disease early can help decrease the number of lives lost each year to this cancer.”
The best way to prevent lung cancer is to stop or never begin smoking. Nearly 9 out of 10 lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking cigarettes or by secondhand smoke exposure.
Smoking isn’t the only cause of lung cancer, as cCARE patient Carole Berwick discovered. After receiving an X-ray for a nagging shoulder injury, Carole was surprisingly diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and was told by two different providers (not at cCARE) she had only a few months to live.
“I’d never smoked,” Berwick explained. “Not even in high school. Not even my parents smoked! The last thing I ever thought could happen to me was lung cancer. It was unbelievable. I felt like someone needed to pinch me and wake me up.”
Berwick sought treatment at cCARE where she met Dr. Lamon.
“Dr. Lamon told me I was beyond many of the normal cancer treatment options, but he explained that today there are many new lung cancer treatment options available,” said Berwick. “He recommended a targeted therapy medication that I’ve been taking ever since, and I’ll soon be celebrating six years since being diagnosed.”
Without her shoulder injury, Carole’s lung cancer may not have been found in time to successfully treat as she didn’t experience some of the typical symptoms such as persistent coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain or unexplained weight loss. This is why proper screening is so important. Screening is done in hopes of catching cancer before symptoms even appear.
cCARE offers low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening which is superior to a standard chest X-ray. LDCT produces better images and is able to identify small, suspect spots in the lungs. It also uses much less radiation than a standard chest X-ray, closer to the radiation exposure one experiences during an airplane flight.
“From the initial paperwork to the scan itself, the process only takes up to one hour,” said Dr. Lamon. “That is a small amount of time to give in order to save a life.”
People who should receive LDCT screening include those with a history of heavy smoking (a pack a day or more), those currently smoking and those who have quit within the past 15 years. Genetic and environmental causes can also attribute to lung cancer, so cCARE recommends that people 55-80 years old and in fairly good health should also get screened.
California Cancer Associates for Research & Excellence, cCARE, is the largest full-service private oncology and hematology practice in California. cCARE delivers the highest quality medical oncology, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, supplemented by a large research and clinical trials program. With nine clinical and business offices in the San Diego and Fresno areas, and one urology clinic in La Jolla, cCARE provides patients with thorough, compassionate and convenient treatment no matter where they call home. For more information, visit www.ccare.com.
Dr. Joel Lamon of cCARE discusses the importance of lung cancer screening
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