It’s the most common cause of lung cancer, and unfortunately, it’s what many believe to be the only cause of the disease.
“Lung cancer, obviously in many patients, is related to tobacco exposure. The number one thing you can do world-wide to prevent lung cancer is to avoid smoking or stop smoking,” said Dr. Lowell Hart, an oncologist on the medical staff of Lee Health.
But smoking isn’t the only risk for lung cancer. “We certainly do see lung cancer in non-smokers or people who have never smoked. We are seeing quite a bit of that,” said Dr. Hart.
Doctors say things like e-cigarettes and second hand smoke can also put a patient at risk. “Second hand smoke can put people at risk. There’s no question that we can see that. That’s another reason for parents of children to consider stop smoking also,” said Dr. Hart.
While it’s not as common, lung cancer can also be caused by family history and different environmental exposures. If a patient is at risk for lung cancer a low dose CT scan can be used to spot the cancer early. “It can be caught early. We certainly recommend anyone who has a smoking history or is at high risk consider getting a low dose screening cat scan,” said Dr. Hart.
The screening can find lung cancer in the early stages giving patients the opportunity to undergo treatment. “The treatments are so much easier than they use to be and so much more successful than they use to be. The surgery has gotten so much safer and quicker and easier,” said Dr. Hart.
If a patient has a history of smoking, it’s important that they talk to their doctor about screening. “The ideal thing would be to find something that is very small that we can remove surgically with a high chance of cure,” said Dr. Hart.
If caught early, lung cancer is a curable disease.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.