What’s the best way to catch lung cancer early when doctors are most likely to be able to cure it? Several readers had questions on the Consults blog about early symptoms and testing of lung cancer. Dr. Derek Raghavan, director of the Taussig Cancer Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, responds.
Because doctors rarely suspect lung cancer when people who never smoked develop respiratory symptoms, the disease is typically diagnosed too late for any hope of a cure. Many nonsmokers are treated for months for conditions like pneumonia, bronchitis or asthma before the real problem is uncovered.
So what can we as smart consumers of medical care generally, and the health care field specifically, do to make sure lung cancer is thought of as a possibility when respiratory symptoms present so that it gets diagnosed and treated faster? Thanks, GK, New York