Awareness and Prevention
Lung cancer is often diagnosed in the late stages of the disease, largely because there are few or no symptoms in the early stages. Awareness of your risk and reducing it, plus early detection, can change everything.
Reduce Your Risk
Smoking is the greatest risk factor for lung cancer. Your risk of lung cancer increases with the amount of time you’ve smoked and how much you smoke every day. Quitting smoking, even if you’ve smoked for a number of years, can greatly reduce your risk for lung cancer.
UT Southwestern can help you stop smoking through our smoking cessation program. Call 1-888-980-6050 for details.
Secondhand smoke also contributes to lung cancer and should be avoided.
Inhaling chemicals such as radon at a workplace can also cause lung cancer. If you work around chemicals, take safety precautions and use breathing equipment or masks.
Your odds for developing lung cancer are higher if you have a family history of lung cancer or a history of lung disease.
Early detection and diagnosis of lung cancer is a major factor in treatment strategy and can improve your chances for a successful outcome.
If you are at high risk for lung cancer, UT Southwestern, in partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center, offers a computed tomography (CT) screening test, possibly at no cost to you, that can detect lung cancer early.
This screening program is for patients who:
- Are 55 years of age or older
- Smoked at least the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years
- Have no history of cancer
- Do not have symptoms of lung cancer identified by a doctor
If you qualify for the screening, you will undergo a CT exam, which involves lying flat on the CT table while the scanner rotates around you, gathering images of the inside of your lungs.
The CT images provide our radiologists with detailed information that can be used to detect and diagnose disease. The entire screening exam typically requires a single breath hold and is usually completed in less than 10 seconds.
Also as part of the screening program, you will need to provide a blood sample.
Patient Testimonial: Alicia’s Story
Alicia Ford-Anderson has seen up close and personal what lung cancer can do. She lost her husband to the disease and wondered whether her own long history of smoking – begun during the “glam” days of the ’60s – had damaged her singing voice and perhaps taken years from her own life. A CT screening for lung cancer gave her the answers she sought, and now she’s singing its praises.
Request an Appointment
To find out if you qualify for the lung cancer screening exam or to schedule an appointment with a lung cancer specialist at UT Southwestern’s facilities in Dallas, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.