How a CT scan can lead to early detection of lung cancer

LEXINGTON, Ky.(WKYT)- In 2015, WKYT's Amber Philpott saw her family touched by lung cancer when doctors diagnosed her father. He is now a two-year survivor, but sadly for many, the outcome isn't so good.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness month. Lung cancer often develops silently and that's why doctors say a simple CT scan can help in early detection.

"Lung cancer isn't the most common cancer in the U.S., but lung cancer kills more patients than breast, colon or prostate cancer combined," said Dr. Patton Thompson, Pulmonologist at Baptist Health Lexington.

Sadly, Kentucky leads the nation in the number of deaths from the disease, but doctors are working to change that grim fact. Baptist Health Lexington treats more than 300 lung cancer patients each year and doctors say a simple screening could save your life.

"There has been a huge concerted effort to try and catch lung cancer early if you do an annual low radiation dose CT scan they improve the survival of lung cancer by 20%," said Dr. Thompson.

Many times lung cancer develops silently and patients never even know it.

"Had no sign or symptoms of the cancer until I got this diagnosis, it was pretty devastating," said James Bush.

Low dose CT scans are fast, painless and require no prep. Eligible candidates are usually between the ages of 55 and 75 and have a smoking history of a pack a day for 30 years. The goal, to detect nodules before they have a chance to spread.

"If lung cancer is caught early the chances of survival are dramatically improved, so screening is critically important because we hope to catch these patients at stage one when they can really be cured and have a long-term survival," said Dr. Thompson.

This weekend you can help in the fight against Lung Cancer. Join WKYT's Amber Philpott and her family at the annual Free to Breathe 5k and walk.

You can help double lung cancer survival! Your participation and fundraising helps to build awareness and funds vital research programs dedicated to doubling lung cancer survival by 2022.

Form a Free to Breathe team and ask friends, family members, neighbors and coworkers to join you. Register using the links above, and download pledge and donation forms here.

Central Kentucky Free to Breathe

LFUCG Coldstream Park
1850 Pisacano Drive
Lexington, KY 40511

12:30 p.m. - Registration & check-in
1:40 p.m. - Opening rally
2 p.m. - 5K run
2:05 p.m. - 5K walk
2:10 p.m. - 1-mile walk
3:20 p.m. - Closing rally



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