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Published on July 31, 2020

Screening for lung cancer may save your life

Gundersen Boscobel Area Hospital and Clinics joins the American Lung Association on World Lung Cancer Day held annually on August 1 to honor those who have been impacted by lung cancer and bring increased awareness to this devastating disease and the importance of screenings.

According to the American Lung Association, lung cancer is the #1 leading cause of cancer-related deaths among both men and women in America. In addition, approximately 9 million people in the U.S. are considered high risk. If you're a current or former smoker over the age of 55, you could be at risk.

Gundersen Health System recommends annual lung cancer screening for individuals at high risk, including:

  • Heavy smokers, age 55 years or older
  • Patients who used to smoke heavily but have quit, age 55 years or older

For both groups, a yearly low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan is the only method proven to find lung cancers that have the best chance of a cure. If you wait until symptoms of lung cancer are present, there is a good chance that you have advanced disease.

Michelle Peterson, NP

Michelle Peterson, NP

"Recent advances make it possible to detect small, localized lung cancers," explains Michelle Peterson, NP, Family Medicine, Gundersen Boscobel. "A nationwide study of high-risk smokers has shown that routine lung screening with low-dose CT scans can reduce the number of lung cancer deaths by 20 percent."

Gundersen Health System offers a comprehensive lung cancer screening program. Our nationally accredited team of radiologists and technologists use modern multi-detector CT scanners. In just a few seconds, the chest is scanned, and detailed images of the lungs are created.

It is normal to have some questions about lung cancer screening. Discuss your complete health history with your Gundersen provider and ask for more information about the benefits and risk of screening.

It's important to remember that anyone can get lung cancer. Risk factors include smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke, radon gas, and hazardous materials in the workplace and at home. To learn more about screening for lung cancer, visit gundersenhealth.org/boscobel or call (608) 375-4144 to schedule an appointment.

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