Lung Cancer Screenings in MA & RI
Lung cancer is one of the major causes of death in the United States. Luckily, when found early, lung cancer is treatable. Lung cancer screenings are currently the most commonly performed preventative screening tests. At Southcoast Health, we offer lung cancer screenings as a part of our health care screening services to detect and treat this disease.
What is Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer occurs when malignant cells form in the tissues of the lungs. It’s the second most common cancer after skin cancer, and it is currently the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women in the United States. There are three main types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer, small cell lung cancer, and lung carcinoid tumor. Non-small cell lung cancer accounts for about 85% of all lung cancer diagnoses.
Lung Cancer Risk Factors
Smoking is the leading risk factor for lung cancer. 80% of lung cancer deaths are attributed to smoking. If you are currently smoking or have smoked within the last 15 years, including exposure to secondhand smoke, you have a higher risk for developing lung cancer. However, you are also more likely to develop lung cancer due to certain risk factors, which include the following:
- Family history
- HIV Infection
- Environmental factors
- Work-related risk factors
- Exposure to radon
- Exposure to asbestos
You cannot control your family history, but you can control your other risk factors for lung cancer. If you work in a field that deals with mold or other old materials, try to limit your exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens. A healthy diet and a non-smoking lifestyle will also greatly reduce your risk for lung cancer.
When to See a Doctor for Lung Cancer
If you are smoking or have smoked within the past 15 years, schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss your current risks for lung cancer. Additionally, if you are experiencing the following symptoms, it may be wise to schedule a lung cancer screening to rule it out as the cause for:
- Incessant coughing
- Coughing up blood, even if it’s a small amount
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Unexpected weight loss
- Bone pain
If you have any of these symptoms, please contact any one of our doctors at Southcoast Health. We may recommend a physical exam, blood tests or more for a diagnosis of your symptoms.
Lung Cancer Screenings at Southcoast Health
At Southcoast Health, we offer lung cancer screenings to increase your chances of early detection and treatment. We have been named a Screening Center of Excellence from the Lung Cancer Alliance because of our ongoing commitment to responsible lung cancer screening and prevention services. We offer low-dose CT scans, a screening test that is covered by most insurances, for patients that have a high risk for the disease.
If you have any risk factors or are experiencing possible symptoms of lung cancer, please consult with a lung cancer specialist at one of our primary care locations in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Schedule an appointment or contact us today for more information.