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Kaelyn Bujnoch

Phone: 281.274.8085

kbujnoch@houstonmethodist.org


Lung Cancer Awareness Seminar at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is joining health care organizations and professionals around the world to help overcome the myths and misconceptions surrounding this serious disease.

“Because smoking rates have fallen in recent decades, many people assume that lung cancer is no longer a major health concern,” said Sindhu Nair, M.D., a board-certified oncologist with Houston Methodist Oncology Partners at Sugar Land.  “But lung cancer remains the deadliest of all cancers. More Americans die each year from lung cancer than from colon, breast and prostate cancer combined, even though most lung cancers are easily preventable. Lung Cancer Awareness Month gives us an opportunity to educate and inform people as well as increase the number of individuals who are screened early.”

One of the most persistent misconceptions about lung cancer, especially among long-term smokers, is that it is “too late” to stop. But Nair says that quitting smoking at anytime not only can reduce the risk of cancer but also provides a wealth of other health benefits, including improved circulation and heart and lung function.

“A smoker can cut his or her risk of lung cancer by as much as 50 percent by quitting,” Nair said. “It’s never too late to gain some benefit, and of course, the earlier one quits, the better.”
Another common myth is that only smokers get lung cancer. While smoking is by far the No. 1 cause, approximately 20 percent of lung cancers occur in patients who have never smoked. Some of those cases are the result of genetic mutations; others are caused by environmental factors, such as exposure to asbestos or radon, a naturally occurring gas that can sometimes be trapped in houses.

Regardless of the underlying cause, early detection is critical to survival rates. In recent years, lung cancer patients have benefited from a range of new, targeted therapies, but finding cancer early is critical. The development of low-dose radiation CT scanning for high-risk patients is helping make a difference.
 
“In the past, most patients didn’t realize they had lung cancer until it was in an advanced stage,” said Clive Shkedy, M.D., radiation oncologist at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. “Screening with CT gives us the opportunity to detect lung cancer long before it becomes symptomatic or spreads outside the lungs. And early detection is one of the keys to successful treatment.”

Individuals 55 to 77 years of age who currently smoke or have quit smoking in the past 15 years, have a tobacco smoking history of at least 30 “pack years” (an average of one pack a day for 30 years, two packs a day for 15 years, etc.), and receive a written order from a physician are eligible for low-dose CT lung screening.

If you think you are eligible, or want more information, please call the Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital nurse navigator at 281.276.8549.  Learn more at houstonmethodist.org/lung-screening, or visit our Facebook page at fb.com/methodistsugarland for the latest news, events and information.

FREE LUNG CANCER SEMINAR
As part of its recognition of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is hosting an informative seminar featuring specialists who will discuss risk factors, the value of early detection through low-dose radiation CT screening and various treatment options, as well as answer questions from the audience.
The event is scheduled for November 9, 2016 in the Brazos Pavilion Conference Center on the Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital campus. Registration required.
For more information or to register, visit events.houstonmethodist.org/sl-lungseminar or call 281.274.7500.