November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month
Did you know that cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer? In the United States, cigarette smoking is linked to about 80% - 90% of lung cancer deaths.
Lung cancer is the third most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Cancer of the lung and bronchus accounted for over 130,000 deaths in 2021 (more than the total number of estimated deaths from colon, breast and prostate cancer combined) with a median age at death of 72 years.
The most important thing you can do to prevent lung cancer is to not start smoking, or to quit if you smoke. Smoking can cause cancer and then block your body from fighting it. Nearly nine out of ten lung cancers are caused by smoking cigarettes.
- Quitting smoking lowers the risks for cancers of the lung, mouth, throat, esophagus and larynx.
- Within five years of quitting, your chance of getting cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder is cut in half.
- Ten years after you quit smoking, your risk of dying from lung cancer drops by half.
- If nobody smoked, one of every three cancer deaths in the United States would not happen.
Lung Cancer Screening Saves Lives
Medicare will cover, under Part B, a lung cancer screening counseling and shared decision-making visit, and for appropriate beneficiaries, annual screening for lung cancer with LDCT, as an additional preventive service benefit under the Medicare program, when certain eligibility criteria are met.
Visit our Tobacco Cessation web page today to learn more about two very important Medicare covered preventative services – Tobacco Cessation Counseling and Lung Cancer Screening.