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Lung Cancer Prevention

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States. While cigarette smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, thousands of nonsmokers also die from lung cancer each year.

Reduce Your Risk for Lung Cancer

If you’re a smoker, the best way to avoid lung cancer is to quit smoking. The more cigarettes you smoke per day and the earlier you started smoking, the greater your risk of lung cancer.
Other risk factors that may increase your chances for cancer include:

  • Secondhand smoke
  • Exposure to asbestos and cancer-causing chemicals such as uranium, beryllium, vinyl chloride, nickel chromates, coal products, mustard gas, chloromethyl ethers, gasoline and diesel exhaust
  • Family history of lung cancer
  • High levels of air pollution
  • High levels of arsenic in drinking water
  • Radiation therapy to the lungs
  • Radon gas

Common Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Early lung cancer may not cause any symptoms. Symptoms depend on the type of cancer you have, but may include:

  • A cough that doesn't go away and gets worse over time
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing or hoarseness
  • Repeated problems with pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Swelling of the neck and face
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Fatigue

Lung Cancer CT Screening

North Kansas City Hospital offers a screening test that can detect lung cancer early, even before symptoms appear. This screening is a low-dose computed tomography (CT) of the chest. It takes about 10 minutes, is painless and produces detailed pictures of your lungs. And as with most forms of cancer, early detection is the key to effective treatment.

Are You at Risk?

The lung cancer CT screening is recommended for people with the highest risk for lung cancer:

  • Current or former smokers (age 55 to 74 years),
  • Smokers with a smoking history of at least 30 pack-years (e.g., smoking a pack a day for 30 years) and
  • No history of lung cancer

Is This Test for Me?

Talk to your doctor about getting a CT scan to screen for lung cancer. A screening could save your life. Be sure to discuss your complete health history. Ask for a clear explanation of the possible benefits and risks of being screened for lung cancer.

What Does It Cost?

North Kansas City Hospital offers low dose CT lung screenings for a self-pay fee of $75 (a $500 value).

Schedule a Lung Screening Today

Call North Kansas City Hospital’s Scheduling Office at 816-691-5267 to schedule a screening. No physician order is necessary if you meet the criteria above.

Learn more about lung cancer at our online Health Encyclopedia.

Get information on our comprehensive cancer care services.

A Patient Story

Joan Harrison

Through the process of volunteering, Joan discovered she had lung cancer. Now she encourages people to get a lung screening.

Pulmonary (Lung) Care