Doctors stress importance of screenings on World Lung Cancer Day

Monday marked World Lung Cancer Day, and medical experts stressed that early screening and detection can save countless lives.
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:35 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2022 at 7:08 AM EDT
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(WFSB) – Monday marked World Lung Cancer Day, and medical experts stressed that early screening and detection can save countless lives.

Connecticut is in the middle of the pack when it comes to new cases when compared to the rest of the country. The state ranked 24th in the rate of new cases, according to health officials.

However, there is hope. The state’s smoking rate is low, and it is one of many states where Medicaid pays for early screening.

A lot of people are eligible for early testing who may not even realize it.

Guidelines recommend screening for people between the ages 50 and 80 with a 20-year smoking history, along with current smokers or people who have quit within the last 15 years.

The American Lung Association said 75 percent of people who are diagnosed with lung cancer are diagnosed at its most advanced stages when it’s hardest to cure.

Anyone who thinks they are eligible should talk to their doctor.

A woman named Denise Lee had that conversation after passing a lung cancer screening billboard, and a short time later she was diagnosed with stage 1B lung cancer.

“Early detection saved my life,” Lee said. “I’m just really passionate about people who are eligible getting screened.”

Doctors believe more lives in Connecticut and across the country can be saved with early screenings.

In the state, only 8 percent of people who are considered high risk for lung cancer are getting screened early. That is higher than the national average.

Connecticut is in the middle of the pack when it comes to new lung cancer cases.