Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer (cont.)
Lung cancer remains a highly preventable disease because 85% of lung cancers occur in people who smoke or used to smoke. The best way to prevent lung cancer is not to smoke.
Screening for lung cancer
- Cigarette smoking is highly addictive, and quitting often proves to be difficult. However, smoking rates have decreased recently in North America and in other parts of the world.
- People who smoke who use a combination of supplemental nicotine, group therapy, and behavioral training show a significant drop in smoking rates.
- People who smoke who use a sustained-release form of the antidepressant bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban) have a much higher quitting rate than average and a higher abstinence rate after 1 year.
- The American Cancer Society does not currently recommend routine chest x-ray screening for lung cancer. This means that many health insurance plans do not cover screening chest x-ray films.
- People who smoke or used to smoke may want to have a periodic chest x-ray film anyway. They should discuss this with their health care providers.
Koyamangalath Krishnan, MD, FRCP
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