Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. However, early detection is changing the way doctors diagnose and treat the condition, thus, more lives are being saved.
"About 225,000 (people) a year are diagnosed [with lung cancer],” said Dr. Raja Flores, chief of thoracic surgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “The majority will die as a result of their disease."
Today, a CAT scan is the optimal screening procedure to detect early stages of cancer, according to Raja. Early screening and detection are why lung cancer is now more commonly curable than it was in previous years.
“In just five years, there was a 20 percent decrease in lung cancer mortality in a CT screen group -- a mortality benefit that exceeds breast cancer screening, colon cancer screening and prostate cancer screening,” Raja said.
Through a CAT scan, doctors can detect a ‘ground glass appearance,’ also known as minimally invasive adenocarcinom. This is typically considered pre-cancerous.
“But when you catch the cancer at that point, it's curable,” Raja said.
At this early stage of lung cancer, victims can be cured with less invasive methods and smaller incisions made in the body.
“Get a CAT scan,” Raja said. “You can be cured.”