November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, doctors encourage screenings

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 4:32 PM EST
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Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11

LONDON, Ky. (WYMT) - The CDC reports people who smoke cigarettes are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer or die from lung cancer than people who do not smoke.

”It is easy to diagnose when it is late stage, and that’s where you don’t want to do that, and it is very challenging to diagnose when it is at an early stage,” said Dr. Abdul Siddiqui with Saint Joseph London.

Doctors say people at high risk are those who have smoked for at least 30 years and are in the age range of 55 to 80. They would still qualify for a screening if they have stopped smoking within the past 15 years.

”Compared to finding out when they are symptomatic, which is usually 75 percent of the population in Eastern Kentucky,” he said. “75% of them are advanced stage cancer.”

20 percent of non-smokers will be diagnosed with lung cancer. The second leading cause of lung cancer is radon exposure.

”The symptoms usually, you know, only show up in advanced stage,” he added. “That may include loss of weight, that may include coughing up of blood.”