Luncheon on Lung Cancer

A doctor listens to a patient's lungs.
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PALM COAST, Fla., November 22, 2017 On Nov. 13, Florida Hospital Flagler and Florida Cancer Specialists hosted a healthy lunch for the community while radiation oncologist Dr. Luis Carrascosa and hematologist/oncologist Dr. Philip Ndum discussed lung cancer.

The event was planned in recognition of national lung cancer month.

Approximately 25 percent of all cancer diagnosis are lung cancer, said Ndum. In the U.S., about 1 in 14 men will develop lung cancer in his lifetime, while the risk for a woman is about 1 in 17.

One of the leading risk factors for developing lung cancer is exposure to tobacco smoke.

The link between smoking and lung cancer is well documented. Approximately 80 percent of lung cancer deaths are linked to tobacco, including cigarettes, hookah smoke and second-hand smoke, Ndum said. That said, the difficulty in quitting smoking is also well documented. Nicotine is addictive and it can be very challenging to quit, even if you know the risks.

In the U.S., the top four deadliest cancers are lung, prostate, breast and colorectal. Of these, lung cancer was the only disease not subjected to routine screening. This usually resulted in a later diagnosis, when symptoms are present and the disease has progressed to an advanced, non-curable stage. Even if lung cancer does cause symptoms, many people may mistake them for other problems, such as an infection or long-term effects from smoking, which can delay the diagnosis.

For those who meet specific criteria and have a high risk of developing lung cancer, we offer a low dose CT lung cancer screening program in an effort to diagnose these cancers as early as possible, said Carrascosa. CT scans of the chest provide a detailed view of the chest and can find small, abnormal areas in the lungs.

A CT scan, also known as computed tomography scan or CAT scan, creates images of organs, bones, and other tissues to help detect a variety of diseases and conditions. A low-dose CT of the chest uses lower amounts of radiation than a standard chest CT, and does not require intravenous (IV) contrast dye.

Under the Affordable Care Act, most private insurers, as well as Medicare, must cover the cost of yearly lung cancer screening in people considered at high risk, Carrascosa said. About 1 out of 4 screening tests will show something abnormal in the lungs or nearby areas that might be cancer. Most of these abnormal findings will turn out not to be cancer, but more CT scans or other tests will be needed to be sure.

About Florida Hospital Flagler

Florida Hospital Flagler is a member of Adventist Health System, a faith-based health care organization with 45 hospital campuses and 8,200 licensed beds in nine states, serving more than 5 million patients annually. With a mission to extend the healing ministry of Christ, Florida Hospital Flagler has 99-beds and is one of the seven Florida Hospitals in Flagler, Lake and Volusia counties that composes the Florida Hospital Central Florida Division - North Region. As the largest hospital system in the area, the Florida Hospital Central Florida Division - North Region has 1,226 beds and more than 7,800 employees.

About Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute: (

Founded in 1984, Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute (FCS) is the largest independent medical oncology/hematology practice in the United States. Recognized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) with a national Clinical Trials Participation Award, FCS offers patients access to more clinical trials than any private oncology practice in Florida. 84% of new cancer drugs approved in 2016 for use in the U.S. were studied in clinical trials conducted with FCS participation*. Florida Cancer Specialists has built a national reputation for excellence that is reflected in exceptional and compassionate patient care, driven by innovative clinical research and cutting-edge technologies that help advance targeted treatments and genetically-based immunotherapies, and embodied by our outstanding team of highly-trained and dedicated physicians, clinicians and staff.

* Prior to approval

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