Lung cancer scans backed for older, heavy smokers

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“I’d have been dead had I not had that scan,” she said. “I was very, very lucky.”

She also finally quit smoking after 40 years to qualify for lung cancer surgery.

Counseling smokers on how to quit is part of the Cancer Society’s guidance. Having a scare from a scan “is a great motivator for people to quit smoking _ fear that they might have had lung cancer, that they dodged a bullet, really causes people to change and take a look at their behavior,” Wender said.

People also should be told that a normal scan doesn’t mean no change is needed.

“The absolute worse thing that would happen” is people thinking “now I’m safe and I can continue smoking,” he said.

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Online:

Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.org

National Cancer Institute: http://1.usa.gov/UZq7Vt

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Marilynn Marchione can be followed at http://twitter.com/MMarchioneAP

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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