SOLLAY LASER CENTER OF EXCELLENCE
Terrance L. Baker, MD, MS, FAAEP, FAAFP
Hana Kelele, CRNP, PhD
Modesta Vesonder, CRNP, MS
A Family Practice Board Certified Office
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Maryland. Lung cancer is the third most common cancer following breast cancer and prostate cancer.
In 2013, more than 2600 Marylanders died of lung cancer. Most lung cancer was diagnosed after spread of the cancer by metastasis resulting in a five year survival rate of 18.1%.
Finding lung cancer early improves survival. A five year survival rate for cancer found early before it has spread is over 55%. Cigarette smoking is the primary risk factor for lung cancer. In 2015 nearly 16% of all Marylanders are current smokers.
A study in 2011 by the National Lung Screening Trial showed that annual screening with low dose computed tomography (LDCT) in high risk individuals reduced mortality from lung cancer by 20%.
As a result, physicians across America including the National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommends annual LDCT screening of asymptomatic high risk individuals defined as the following:
Adults aged 55-74 with a smoking history of 30 pack years or more and smoking cessation for less than 15 years.
Adults aged 50 or older with a smoking history of 20 pack years or more and at least one additional risk factor like additional history of cancer in another location.
The US Preventive Services Task Force highly recommends annual LD-CT screening for lung cancer among qualified high risk individuals.
Cancer prevention and early treatment should be a high priority for every Maryland physician and for every Maryland patient qualified as noted above. The goal is to reduce cancer mortality and morbidity rates in the state of Maryland by educating patients and primary care physicians of the tremendous benefits of early screening and early recognition of lung cancer.
In 2020 if you are a cigarette smoker you should discuss receiving LD-CT examinations. In summary, if you are an adult who is 50 years of age or older and has smoked for 20-30 years or more you should discuss LD-CT screening with your primary care physician.