(EFFINGHAM, IL) – Lung cancer continues to be one of the most common cancers worldwide, claiming more lives yearly than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. It is estimated that lung cancer accounts for nearly one in five cancer deaths globally.
To call attention to this growing issue, Lung Cancer Awareness Month is observed every November to educate the public about the potential causes and risk factors of this disease.  It also promotes the need for screening among eligible populations and promotes the importance of research underway to identify more effective treatments.
The most important factor in preventing lung cancer is to not smoke at all or for those who do smoke, to start a smoking cessation program to help them quit immediately. This is important for the smoker and for those around them who can also be affected by secondhand smoke. About 85% of all lung cancers are found in smokers and the remainder is caused by secondhand smoke exposure.
Lung cancer is, unfortunately, one of those diseases where symptoms may not present until the late stages, when treatment options are limited, and the survival rate is very low. Early symptoms include:

  • A cough that is getting worse and lasts for weeks

  • Coughing up blood or dark phlegm

  • Shortness of breath

  • Chest pain

  • Hoarseness in the voice

  • Pain in bones

  • Unintentional weight loss

Early detection saves lives and screenings for lung cancer are available within the local community. HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital offers a low-dose CT lung cancer screening program for the early diagnosis of lung cancer. Studies show that 75% of lung cancer patients are first diagnosed with advanced-stage disease, which greatly reduces their chance of survival.
The goal of the screening program is to detect cancer at an early stage, even before someone has symptoms. At an early stage, surgery or other treatment options are possible and the cure rate can be much higher.
The screening is a quick, painless, non-invasive low dose CT scan that can detect nodules or spots on your lung, which might be early indicators of lung cancer. The CT imaging technology uses an eighth of the radiation as that of a standard CT so there is very little risk in lung cancer screening.
Anyone interested in being screened should talk to their physician about the screening criteria, potential benefits, limitations, and possible risks of having a lung cancer screening. If a person has one or more of the following risk factors they are encouraged to talk to their physician about getting screened immediately:

  • Be age 55-77 years of age.

  • Have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer.

  • Have a history of smoking at least a pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years.

  • Be current smokers or have quit smoking within the last 15 years.

For more information on the low dose lung cancer screening at St. Anthony’s, visit stanthonyshospital.org/Medical-Services/Imaging/Lung-Cancer-Screening. The American Lung Association also offers a low-dose CT lung cancer screening test and eligibility quiz to see if you should get screened. Visit lung.org/our-initiatives/saved-by-the-scan.

Media Contact

Brad Ochiltree

Manager, Marketing & Communications
HSHS Illinois
Office: (217) 464-1161

Latest News

Visitor guidelines updated

 June 21, 2021

HSHS St. Anthony's updates visitor guidelines.


Celebrate safely during fireworks season

 June 11, 2021

HSHS St. Anthony's urges safety with fireworks


Tips for Preventing and Recognizing Heatstroke

 June 11, 2021

HSHS St. Anthony's offers tips for preventing and recognizing heatstroke.