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Johns Hopkins Bayview News - Lung Cancer

Spring 2015

Lung Cancer

By: Karen Tong
Date: June 1, 2015

Early detection could save your life


Portrait of Lonny Yarmus, D.O.
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.”

To schedule a lung cancer screening, call 410-955-LUNG (5864). For more information about lung cancer, visit hopkinsmedicine.org/lungcancerprogram.

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.