Lung Cancer Awareness Month highlights the importance of screening

Olympus joins the American Lung Association to advance health equity and promote potentially life-saving scans that help detect lung cancer early

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., November 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Advances in staging and personalized treatments have helped improve lung cancer survival rates, but low screening rates and health disparities in eligible patients remain significant barriers to treatment, according to the recently published study 2022 lung cancer status1 American Lung Association report.

During Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Olympus Corp. of the Americas and the American Lung Association are spotlighting potentially life-saving lung cancer screening and the diagnostic tools available to support treatment. Almost 237,000 new cases of lung cancer are expected to be diagnosed this year, and lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths The United Statesaccording to that 2022 lung cancer status Report.

The American Lung Association reports progress in some key areas, including an 11% reduction in new lung cancer cases nationally over the past five years and a 25% increase in the national five-year average survival rate. However, the 5-year survival rate for lung cancer remains one of the lowest because cases are often diagnosed at later stages.1

“It is very encouraging to see a decrease in lung cancer cases coupled with an increase in survival. As we make steady strides in screening more eligible patients and making significant advances in diagnosis and treatment, we must continue to emphasize the importance of early detection of this disease through screening,” said Dr. Albert Rizzo, Chief Medical Officer of the American Lung Association. “Statistics and trends aside, the message we need to convey to patients is simple: lung cancer screening saves lives.”

About a quarter of lung cancer cases are diagnosed early enough when the five-year survival rate is highest (61%), underscoring the importance of screening.1 Screenings involve a low-dose CT (LDCT) scan, a simple and rapid procedure that creates two-dimensional, cross-sectional images as a patient moves rapidly through an open, ring-shaped scanner. Patients are encouraged to discuss screening with their doctor if they have smoked in the past.

Last year, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) changed its lung cancer screening guidelines to include more at-risk patients. The USPSTF now recommends annual LDCT scans for people ages 50 to 80 with a 20-year history of packets who are either current smokers or have quit within the last 15 years. A pack-year is the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day multiplied by the number of years the person has smoked: 20 pack-years equals one pack per day for 20 years, or two packs per day for 10 years.2

About 14 million Americans meet the guidelines, but fewer than 6% of high-risk patients were screened in 2021.1

DR Gerhard Silvestriof Medical University of South Carolina, recently published a study analyzing data from people who had undergone LDCT scans under previous USPSTF guidelines. The data showed that those who underwent a scan were more likely to be female and current smokers. Men, younger eligible patients, and ex-smokers were less likely to be screened, and the study also showed that follow-up adherence 12 months after initial screening “was poor, potentially limiting screening effectiveness.”3

According to Silvestri, women may be more likely to be screened for lung cancer because they are used to having other screenings, such as breast and cervical cancer. Older patients are more likely to be screened because they have uniform health insurance like Medicare compared to younger patients, and current smokers might be easier to identify for screening than ex-smokers, who aren’t easily recorded in electronic medical records, he said. Silvestri, a paid consultant to Olympus, added that ex-smokers may not even realize they are eligible for screening.

That 2022 lung cancer status The report also highlighted disparities in healthcare between different racial groups, all of which had lower rates for early detection, treatment and five-year survival after diagnosis. Nationwide, 21% of all lung cancer patients did not receive treatment after diagnosis for a variety of reasons, and new cases, screening rates, and access to medical care vary from state to state.1

Advances in detection and diagnostics, such as B. endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) and electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy (ENB), have helped lay the foundation for targeted cancer treatments such as immunotherapy. The technology helps pulmonologists locate nodules and lymph nodes and collect the tissue samples needed for personalized, targeted cancer therapy through immunotherapy.4

Olympus supports the American Lung Association in its efforts to raise awareness of the importance of lung cancer screening. After screening, patients can breathe easier knowing there are next steps to take to fight the cancer before it gets too far.

About Olympus

As a leading medical technology company, Olympus delivers innovative medical technology, therapeutic interventions and precision manufacturing for diagnostic, therapeutic and minimally invasive procedures. For more information visit

About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the premier organization dedicated to saving lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association focuses on four strategic imperatives: defeat lung cancer; to advocate for clean air for all; Improving the quality of life for lung sufferers and their families; and create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which is a 4-star Charity Navigator and Gold-level GuideStar member, or to support their work, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586- 4872) at ) or visit

1 American Lung Association, The 2022 State of Lung Cancer Report
2 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, “Final Recommendation Statement, Lung Cancer: Screening.” March 2021
3 Silvestri GA, Goldman L, Burleson J, et al. Characteristics of people screened for lung cancer The United States : A cohort study [published online ahead of print, 2022 Oct 11]. Ann Intern Med. 2022;10.7326/M22-1325.
4 Flenaugh, EL; Mohammed, KH, “Initial Experiences with 4D Electromagnetic Navigational Bronchoscopy System with Tip-Guided Instruments for Locating Peripheral Lung Nodules.” The Internet Journal of Pulmonary Medicine. 2016. Volume 18 Number 1.

SOURCE Olympus

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