Expanded lung cancer screening guidelines allow more people to get tested
New expanded lung cancer screening guidelines allow more people to get tested for a disease that is projected to kill more than 130,000 people nationwide in 2021.
Patricia Trudden, 71, of Garden City, is a lung cancer survivor. Trudden says she was a heavy smoker for more than 50 years.
"I started smoking when I was 16 in high school," says Trudden. "And I have quit about 55 times, and I always went back."
Trudden wasn't screened for lung cancer until last year and that's when the doctors found two tumors.
Doctors say less than 5% of people who currently meet the guidelines for lung cancer screenings are actually getting tested.
"What we're all hoping is that we save more lives with lung cancer screenings," says Dr. Jeffrey Schneider, of Perlmutter Cancer Center. "We want to get more people in the door, and we know that if we do, we save lives."
Under the new guidelines, if you have a 20-pack-a-year smoking history and you're at least 50 years old, you qualify for a screening.
Trudden says she realizes how much worse things could have been. She says right after her surgery, she quit smoking for good.
The Perlmutter Cancer Center along with NYU Langone have six locations across the Island that do lung cancer screenings.