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Johns Hopkins Bayview News - Lung Cancer
Date: June 1, 2015
Early detection could save your life
Lonny Yarmus, D.O., director of interventional pulmonology
For decades, lung cancer has remained the top cancer killer in the United States—more than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined. But the good news, says Lonny Yarmus, D.O., director of interventional pulmonology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, is that more lung cancer patients are surviving and living longer, due to a series of sweeping changes in the field.
New research, including a large, influential study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows a significant dip in mortality when doctors screen for lung cancer using low-dose CT scans in high-risk populations. Recent changes in Medicare allows for this screening to be covered.
Johns Hopkins now offers a multidisciplinary lung cancer program that encompasses all aspects of patient care, including screenings, minimally invasive diagnostic techniques and novel treatments.
In addition to the lung cancer screening clinic, the program also offers a pulmonary nodule clinic for patients with abnormal findings. An expert panel reviews each patient’s imaging studies and develops a plan for the appropriate follow-up tests and procedures.
Ten years ago, a lung cancer diagnosis was considered a death sentence,” Dr. Yarmus says. “Now, more and more, we talk about survivorship, and that’s a tremendous leap. The next leap is a cure. I think we can do that.”
Who should be screened for lung cancer?
- Age 55 to 74
- Currently smoking or quit less than 15 years ago
Or you must:
- Be older than 50
Have a 20 pack/years habit
[Pack/years is defined as the number of packs per day multiplied by the number of years smoked. Ex: 1 pack per day times 20 years equals a 20 pack/years habit]
- Have one additional risk factor, including radon or occupational exposure, or a history of smoking-related cancer, lung cancer, COPD or pulmonary fibrosis
To see Dr. Yarmus answer some frequently asked questions about lung cancer screening, visit http://bit.ly/1CKK6OD.