w/ Dr. Robert Reynolds, Radiation Oncologist, Bismarck Cancer Center
Q: I am a 62-year-old man who has been smoking most of my life. Do I need to be screened for lung cancer?
A: Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that can form into tumors in one or both lungs. Nearly 500 North Dakotan’s are diagnosed with lung cancer each year and lung cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in ND. The good news is, if you stop smoking before lung cancer develops, your damaged lung tissue gradually starts to repair itself. No matter your age or how long you’ve smoked, quitting smoking may lower your risk of lung cancer.
The USPSTF recommends yearly low-dose CT scans for those who have a history of heavy smoking and currently smoke/ or have quit within the last 15 years and are between 55 and 80 years old. Heavy smoking means smoking 30 packs or more every month. If you are thinking about getting screened, talk to your doctor. If lung cancer screening is right for you, your doctor can refer you to a high-quality screening facility. If caught at an early stage, lung cancer is often treatable and controllable.