Nearly 160,000 people die of lung cancer each year. Many cases aren’t discovered until the advanced stage. But research since a 2011 trial involving older, heavy smokers indicates low-dose or low radiation CT scans outperform chest X-rays in detecting early signs of lung cancer and reducing its death rate. In this edition of Vital Signs, Dr. Kartik Konduri, co-director of the Lung Cancer Center of Excellence at Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center, explains why Baylor Health Care recently has expanded its use of low-dose CT scans to screen high risk patients.
Some Key Statistics About Lung Cancer
- Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women. In men, prostate cancer is more common, while in women breast cancer is more common. Lung cancer accounts for about 14% of all new cancers.
- Lung cancer 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 mainly occurs in older people. About 2 out of 3 people diagnosed with lung cancer are 65 or older. The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 70.
- Overall, the chance that a man will develop lung cancer in his lifetime is about 1 in 13; for a woman, the risk is about 1 in 16. These numbers include both smokers and non-smokers. For smokers the risk is much higher, while for non-smokers the risk is lower.
- Black men are about 20% more likely to develop lung cancer than white men. The rate is about 10% lower in black women than in white women.
- Some people with earlier stage cancers are cured. More than 380,000 people alive today have been diagnosed with lung cancer at some point.
- American Cancer Society
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