KENDALL, Fla. – As Lung Cancer Awareness Month begins, newly eligible Americans are being urged to get screened.
Baptist Health South Florida has teamed up with the American Lung Association in a first-of-its-kind partnership to raise awareness about the new guidelines for screening, which has expanded to people between the ages of 50 and 80 with a 20-pack year of smoking history.
“So a pack year is essentially you take the number of packs you smoke per day, so let’s say that’s one pack per day, and then you multiply it by the number of years you smoked. So let’s say 20 years. One pack per day times 20 years, that’s 20 pack years. A person may have smoked a shorter amount of time, say 10 years, but a higher intensity -- say two packs a day -- that person is also 20 pack year history,” said Dr. Juan Batlle, chief of thoracic imaging at Baptist Health.
Large studies, both in the U.S. and Europe, have shown that annual low dose chest CT scans were able to catch cancers early, reducing mortality from lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent.
COVID and the brain
Also in today’s health news, there are new clues about how COVID-19 affects the brain.
Two recent studies from research centers in California and Toronto suggest that the virus directly infects neurons in the brain through a person’s nose.
The immune system normally does not attack infected neurons because they’re so critical to our body.
That’s how the virus can then move around the brain, leading to memory problems and trouble with thinking.