PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – There are now expanded guidelines for lung cancer screening among current and past smokers.
The United States Preventative Services Task Force recently reduced the screening age from 55 to 50 and the smoking years from 30 to 20, which means 6 million more people at risk in the U.S. will be eligible for screening, bringing the total to 15 million people.
If insurance doesn’t cover the cost, some hospitals offer low cost CT scans.
“A lot of our hospitals we provide for $99, a discounted rate, but this needs to be covered by insurance because we’re improving the mortality rate for lung cancer that kills every year 170,000 Americans,” said Dr. Luis Raez with the Memorial Cancer Institute.
Raez said lung cancer screening decreases death from the disease by 20 percent.
Data shows that Native Americans, women and African Americans are at highest risk for smoking-related lung cancer.
There is also new data on the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine among people with cancer.
A prospective study found that barely one-quarter of cancer patients were protected after the first dose, versus 97 percent protection in the healthy control group.
The second dose 21 days later did bring adequate immunity to nearly all the cancer patients.
Researchers said the findings underscore the importance of making sure that cancer patients get that second dose on time.