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Scott Beck
/ Categories: Cancer

Lung Cancer Awareness

Ellen Brennan, Lung Nurse Navigator

Lung Cancer Awareness
One out of every four cancer deaths are related to or caused by lung cancer — the leading cause of death by cancer among both men and women. In 2017 alone, more than 225,000 people will have been diagnosed with lung cancer. Here is some important information about lung cancer prevention, including smoking cessation and screenings.

Smoking Cessation
Tobacco use, including smoking, is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. It is a key risk factor for lung cancer. If you do smoke, quitting now may significantly reduce your risk of the disease.

At Barnes-Jewish St. Peters and Progress West Hospitals, we have many resources available to help smokers quit and commit to a healthy tobacco-free life. Our smoking cessation classes are provide an educational and low pressure setting. These four-week long sessions are offered free of charge, though you must register by calling 636.928.WELL.

A lung cancer screening is done before any symptoms present. It is recommended for anyone 55 to 77 years old that has smoked at least a pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years. Even if you have quit smoking within the last 15 years, you're still at a high risk for lung cancer. Other factors, such as a family history of lung cancer or exposure to secondhand smoke, might also put you at risk. Speak with your primary care physician to learn if a screening is appropriate for you.

The greatest ways we can impact the number of lung cancer-related deaths is by smoking cessation and lung cancer screenings. You can lower your risk of cancer by leading a healthy lifestyle and by being proactive about your health.

Ellen Brennan is a lung nurse navigator who treats patients at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters and Progress West Hospitals, in conjunction with Siteman Cancer Center. To learn more, visit BJCStCharlesCounty.org or call 636.916.7098.

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