Lung cancer becomes leading cause of all cancer deaths


Lung cancer is now the leading cause of all cancer deaths in the United States.

Because lung cancer is particularly hard to diagnose until it’s in its late stages when symptoms develop, medical experts are urging you to get screened early so that it can be caught early.

“Early diagnosis is the best way to reduce mortality significantly,” said MacKenzie Church, Executive Director of End Cancer Now at Indiana University. “Lung cancer screenings can save thousands of lives, so we have a lot of work to do to increase this.”

Church tells WISH-TV that the alarming thing is that more people are getting screened for other types of cancer, but not lung cancer.

“It’s kind of shocking … when comparing these lung screening rates to other preventative screenings,” said Church. “Like mammography and colonoscopies where 70-to-75-percent of eligible people participate in those programs and then when you talk about only 7-percent for lung screenings it’s kind of shocking.”

She said it’s paramount that people get screened early because there are no early signs that lung cancer has developed. By the time someone usually starts to show symptoms it is already in advanced stages.

There have been over 236,000 cases of lung cancer diagnosed throughout the US so far this year. There have also been over 130,000 deaths attributed to lung cancer.

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