Lung Cancer Leading Cancer Killer in Virginia - ABC 8NEWS - WRIC | Richmond, Virginia News & Weather

Lung Cancer Leading Cancer Killer in Virginia

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RICHMOND (WRIC) - Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in the state, even though it isn't even the most diagnosed.

Dr. Dev Nair with the Virginia Department of Health says new numbers show that while other cancers are more often seen in patients, lung cancer is still the biggest problem in Virginia.

"The highest incidents were of prostate cancer but the highest mortality was for lung cancer," he says. "Lung cancer is a much more fatal disease when diagnosed."

He says lung cancer is harder to diagnose, and harder to treat than most cancers, and the survival rate is among the lowest, but doctors say there's a big step Virginians can take to make those numbers go down.

Dr. Peter Buckman says Virginia's tobacco use is partly to blame and says methods like low dose CT- scans can help catch lung cancer earlier, which could improve mortality rates.

"The key prevention of course is to not smoke and nine out of 10 cancers are found in people that smoke," he says. "At earlier stages lung cancer is more curable than when it's at its later stages."

While the scans are not standard now, Buckman says he's hopeful they will be in the future, leading to more lives saves, and less lost.


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