QUEZON CITY, (PIA) - The Lung Center of the Philippines has encouraged high-risk individuals who want an early detection to avail of its free lung cancer screening.
“Our goal is for early detection, provide treatment and improve the quality of life of the patient," hospital consultant Dr. Guia Elena Ladreda said in a televised Laging Handa public briefing.
Launched in time for International Lung Cancer Awareness Month this November, the free screening program is also meant to reduce the number of cancer-related deaths.
According to government data, more than half of those with lung cancer had been detected at an advance stage. Cancer was the fourth leading cause of death in the Philippines from January to July 2022,
Ladreda said the program is for high risk individuals and not recommended for the general population
Considered high risk are individuals with first-degree relatives who were not exposed to smoking but diagnosed with lung cancer; and smokers or former smokers with a minimum of 20 “pack years” of smoking.
Ladreda, however, adviced those who want to be screened to have the right mindset and that they are also ready to seek treatment if in case cancer is detected. Treatments include surgery, radiation or chemotherapy or a combination.
The warning signs of lung cancer include coughing of 2 weeks or more; shortness of breath; chest pain; wheezing; coughing up blood; feeling of tiredness all the time; weight loss with no known cause.
The best screening tool, according to Ladreda, is the Low Dose Chest CT Scan - a 15-minute painless procedure with no injections and uses a low dose of radiation.
Those who want to avail of the free lung cancer screening program may visit the Out-Patient Department of the Lung Center of the Philippines. They may also contact their Hotline number 1558 for counsellors to conduct pre-screening evaluation prior to further follow-up or screening schedule. (CPC/PMD)