Dr. Imtiaz Ahmad, board certified pulmonologist with Allergy Sleep & Lung Care was featured in The Fort Myers News-Press discussing the importance of lung cancer screening. View the story as it appeared in the newspaper below.
Lung cancer screening saves lives
With November recognized as Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the experts at Allergy Sleep & Lung Care are encouraging local residents to increase awareness preserving one’s lung health while also being aware of their risk factors and symptoms that are associated with lung cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women, excluding skin cancer. 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.
After clinical trials showed that screenings lead to earlier diagnosis of lung cancer, Medicare announced it will cover Low-Dose CT Lung Cancer Screening for patients. Screenings are covered for those aged 55-77 who are considered at high risk for lung cancer, including:
- Current smokers with a 30 pack-year pack history
- Patients who have quit smoking in the past 15 years and have a 30 pack-year history
- Asymptomatic (no signs or symptoms of lung cancer)
The goal of the Low-Dose CT Lung Cancer Screening is to save lives through early detection. It is recommended on an annual basis for high-risk patients.
Imtiaz Ahmad, M.D., Board Certified Pulmonologist with Allergy Sleep & Lung Care also encourages a healthy knowledge of common and uncommon symptoms of lung disease. 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 lung cancer do appear, many people may mistake them for other problems, such as an infection or long-term effects from smoking. This may 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 lung cancer, if needed,” says Dr. Ahmad. “It’s important to listen to your body and speak with your physician about chest pains or breathing issues.”
For residents looking for lung cancer screenings, Allergy Sleep & Lung Care offers CT screening, as well as a noninvasive screening to confirm a cancer diagnosis using a bronchoscopy. Examination of the airways by bronchoscopy may show areas of tumor that can be biopsied. Bronchoscopy can be performed in a same-day outpatient bronchoscopy suite.
For more information about Allergy Sleep & Lung Care, please visit www.LungCare.net, or call (239) 437-6670.
Allergy Sleep & Lung Care is located at 16420 HealthPark Commons Drive, Suite 100 Fort Myers, FL 33908, with a second location at 260 Beth Stacey Boulevard, Suite 220 Lehigh Acres, FL 33936.
View the full article on the News-Press website by clicking here.