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Sunday, November 07, 2010

CT Scan Cuts Smokers' Lung Cancer Deaths by 20%

Some GOOD News For Smokers.

Hey folks,

As you all know, I was a Smoker since age 14. I Smoked the real deal. The Standard, harshest, strongest Cigarettes out there. No. I'm not naming the brand, but they come in a Red and White Box.

I Smoked about a Pack and a half a day until I was around 26 I think. I quit. For Three and a half years I did well. An occasional Dream, urge, whatever, but I stayed steadfast. Until one day, perhaps the, most definitely one of the, worst days of my life. A friend of mine was Smoking and I remember it like it was yesterday.

"Hey, you think I can get one of those?"

"Uh, Sure? Are you sure?"

"Yeah. After Three and a half years, one is not going to kill me."


Well? In about 30 minutes, there I was, at the store, buying my own pack. It was as if I never quit. I got up to two to THREE Packs a day. I smoked until Last Year without much thought about it. Then I got sick. I went to the Doctors and they found this little annoying lymph node in my Lung. I was also diagnosed with moderate COPD and The early stages of Emphysema.

Well, I just do not accept all that. I have a Son, one on the way. A Wife. A Niece. Family. Responsibility. I do not have time to get sick. I do not have time to deal with stupidity. So I quit smoking again. Not to mention the MONEY I have saved buying the stuff, I feel much better.

One thing I DID learn, is that the Second time, was SO MUCH HARDER than I could have ever imagined. Now I understand when some people say, "I just can quit." they are telling the truth. A lot of the time, MOST of the time, when someone is diagnosed with a Smoking related Sickness, it is too late to do much about it. Until NOW. According to Live Science - CT Scan Cuts Smokers' Lung Cancer Deaths by 20%
Screening heavy smokers with a computed tomography (CT) scan can catch tumors early and reduce deaths from lung cancers by 20 percent, according to a new clinical trial.

"Overall, this study provides strong evidence that older patients who are at high-risk of developing lung cancer could benefit from CT screening, and that's a significant finding," study researcher Dr. Claudine Isaacs, a director at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University, said in a statement.

The National Lung Screening Trial study enrolled 53,000 men and women ages 55 to 74 starting in August 2002. Participants were required to have a smoking history of at least 30 "pack-years," which is calculated by multiplying the average number of cigarette packs smoked a day by the number of years the person has smoked. They were either current or former smokers who had no symptoms or history of lung cancer.
I had more than 30 Pack Years. I could have done this. But this is GREAT News folks.
Researchers separated the people in the study into two groups: one received three annual low-dose helical CT scans - helical scans may give doctors a better view internal tissues than regular CT scans - and the other received three annual standard chest X-rays.

The people in the study were screened when they first enrolled in the trial, and at the end of their first and second years on the trial, and then researchers followed up with them five years later.

Of the people who received the CT scans, 356 had died from lung cancer as of Oct. 20, whereas 442 people in the X-ray group had died of the disease, according to the study.

This means the scans reduced lung cancer deaths by 20.3 percent, the researchers said.
Now of course, some have to pooh-pooh any possible advances.
There are several disadvantages of using a CT scan, however, the National Cancer Institute said. The screening process produces false-positives, leading people to seek treatments for suspicious findings that turn out not to be cancer - an anxiety-inducing and costly endeavor.

There are also negative health effects of repeated exposure to radiation, as well as potential surgical and medical complications in people who may need extra testing to diagnose lung cancer.
I do not know about you, but if getting these tests, reduce my risk of DYING from Cancer by %20, then SIGN ME UP. But the COST is what some will argue. Like Obamacare. You will probably NOT be allowed to get this under Obamacare. It would be deemed too expensive.
A more complete analysis of the results is set to be released in the next few months, researchers said.

The study was published Nov. 3 in the journal Radiology.
Can't wait to read it. I'm judging nothing, nor anyone. If you Smoke, then you Smoke. Try the "Electronic Cigarette," it REALLY does work. Or try the Patch, ask your Doctor if any of the Medication out there will be right for you. Do whatever it takes, just try to stop Smoking folks. It really is not worth it in the long run. But do NOTHING until you are mentally ready for it, or NOTHING will work. YOU have to want it for YOU.
Peter

Sources:
Live Science - CT Scan Cuts Smokers' Lung Cancer Deaths by 20%

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