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Get screened for lung cancer

To the editor:

Many in Hampton Roads may not realize lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of men and women in the United States, accounting for about one in four cancer deaths. In 2018 alone, nearly 6,000 people in Virginia will be diagnosed with lung cancer.

Lung cancer screening is a new method of early detection that is a powerful tool to save lives. At Sentara Healthcare, we are committed to finding and treating this cancer early. We’ve completed more than 3,000 screenings so far in 2018 and have diagnosed more than 30 lung cancers.

We encourage lung cancer screenings for adults between 55 to 80 years old who have a 30 pack-year smoking history, and who currently smoke or have quit within the last 15 years. A pack-year is the number of years smoked times the number of packs smoked per day.

As a thoracic surgeon, I am intimately involved in lung cancer treatment. For early stages and even for advanced lung cancer, surgery is a key modality to treat and cure lung cancer. We strongly emphasize timeliness with diagnosis and treatment, which is why a lung cancer screening can save so many lives. The sooner we catch it, the sooner we act, the better chance we have to cure you.

Help us spread the word on the availability of lung cancer screenings to catch the disease early. I am joining the American Lung Association to ask former smokers to take a lung cancer screening eligibility quiz at www.lung.org/our-initiatives/saved-by-the-scan. It just might save a life.

Dr. Raffaele J. Marchigiani

Cardiothoracic Surgeon — Sentara Surgery Specialist