Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women, according to the American Cancer Society. Lung cancer accounts for about 27% of all cancer deaths and is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.
“Lung cancer is a serious disease, but it can be prevented and treated,” says Imtiaz Ahmad, M.D., Board Certified Pulmonologist and founder of Allergy Sleep & Lung Care. “Early detection and prompt treatment is key to fighting the disease.”
Allergy Sleep & Lung Care offers advanced screening and treatment options for patients. Dr. Ahmad and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommend low-dose CT scans for lung cancer screening in certain patients, aged 55 to 77, including current heavy smokers and former smokers who have quit smoking in the past 15 years. Medicare now covers these screenings.
The goal of low-dose CT lung cancer screening is to save lives through early detection. It is recommended on an annual basis for high-risk patients.
While intense and persistent coughing, chest pains and shortness of breath are widely known symptoms of lung cancer, other signs may include a loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss, bone fractures without injury and an overall feeling of fatigue or general weakness.
Usually, symptoms of lung cancer do not appear until the disease is already in an advanced, non-curable stage. Even when symptoms of do appear, many people mistake them for other problems, such as an infection or long-term effects from smoking and this can delay the diagnosis.
“Knowing your individual risk for lung cancer, including a history of smoking, combined with regular visits with your physician are efficient ways to make sure you are properly screened for,” says Dr. Ahmad. “It’s important to listen to your body and speak with your physician about chest pains or breathing issues.”
Dr. Ahmad and his team of professionals offer various advanced diagnostic and treatment options for patients. Diagnostic testing services are available to determine how well the respiratory system is working. These services include a variety of specialized tests, such as comprehensive pulmonary function testing, exercise-induced asthma testing, simple oximetry and pulmonary stress testing, among other methods.