How to Detect Lung Cancer, Early Detection and More

The early detection of lung cancer allows for patients to have more treatment options and a far greater chance of survival.

Early Testing means Increased 5-Year Survival Rate

The average 5-year survival rate of lung cancer patients diagnosed early – before it spreads – is 55%. Once the cancer has spread this survival rate can drop to 18% for some individuals.

Early Detection

Learn the benefits of early detection

Dr. David Carbone from The Ohio State University Medical Center and David Sturges, lung cancer patient advocate and co-founder of LCFA, provide basic information about the importance of detecting lung cancer early. Scroll down to view the intermediate video where Dr. David Carbone and David Sturges dig a little deeper into the how and why of early detection for lung cancer.

How to detect lung cancer

Symptoms To Know

Many times, symptoms do not manifest themselves in the early stages of lung cancer. Instead, most lung cancer patients are diagnosed in the late stages of the disease, making their treatment more problematic.

Signs & Symptoms

How to detect lung cancer

Risks to Know

There are many factors that might put you at risk for lung cancer. Many people believe that smoking alone causes lung cancer. But that’s not true.

Know the Risks

Does insurance cover early detection testing?

Studies over the last 15 years using early detection screening such as spiral CT have been shown to reduce lung cancer deaths by 16% to 20%. Because of these findings, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends annual computed tomography (CT) screening for people who meet specific criteria. More importantly, this non-invasive diagnostic test may be covered by Medicare and most insurance companies.

If you answer YES to these 3 questions below, you meet the criteria for early detection testing.

If you answer YES to these 3 questions, you meet the latest criteria set by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that recommends annual computed tomography (CT) screening. This non-invasive diagnostic test may be covered by Medicare and insurance companies. Make an appointment with your doctor and discuss this testing with them.

If you answer NO to any of these questions BUT have any concerns regarding your lung cancer risks, you should make an appointment with your doctor.

1. Are you between the ages of 50 and 80?

Are you between the ages of 50 and 80?

2. Are you asymptomatic?

Do you show no signs or symptoms of lung cancer such as: a persistent cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, unexplained weight loss, hoarseness, chronic bronchitis?

Do you currently smoke or did you quit smoking within the last 15 years, and have or had a tobacco smoking history of at least 20

Calculate pack years: [Number of Years Smoked] X [Averages Number of Packs Per Day] = [Pack Years]

More Information About Lung Cancer Screening and Early Detection

Only 19 out of every 100 who qualify get screened for lung cancer

More Research into Early Detection Needed

These insurance-covered screenings are a step in the right direction, however more research into early detection of lung cancer is desperately needed.

More than half of new lung cancer patients have never smoked or quit more than 15 years ago. This discounts them from meeting the CT screening recommendations discussed above. We need more methods to detect lung cancer for all possible lung cancer patients.

The good news is, this is where lung cancer research is helping. Your donation to LCFA will go toward funding new research.