Lung cancer screenings are down, and that’s bad news for patients

On Behalf of | Jan 1, 2021 | asbestos

The year 2020 presented many challenges for patient care, and doctors and hospitals have done their best to keep up. Unfortunately, that has often meant deferring routine screening tests for patients who are asymptomatic of disease. Thus, non-urgent care wound up pushed to the background.

For many patients, deferred testing could be a death sentence — particularly if they have some form of lung cancer quietly eating away at their health.

A new report highlights the problem for cancer patients

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine found that low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans, which are known to reduce mortality among lung cancer victims by 20% or more, dropped drastically this year.

Monthly averages of LDCT screenings dropped from 146 to only 39 when comparing March to June of 2020 with the same period in 2019. New patient screenings continue to decline.

To a certain extent, patient testing is being impaired by reduced hours of service and other restrictions. However, the no-show rate for patients has also climbed, going from a norm of 15% to 40%.

Much of this is attributed to the choices that both providers and patients are making about their health care. If they don’t “seem sick,” they aren’t getting screened for lung cancer.

Unfortunately, lung cancer is often a “hidden” disease that creeps up on people. By the time symptoms clearly indicate something is wrong, a patient may already have missed the window of opportunity for effective treatment.

If you have lung cancer that could be related to asbestos exposure, seek help

Lung cancer is frequently tied to environmental toxins, like asbestos exposure. If you believe that your cancer could be connected to asbestos exposure in the past, take steps to protect your interests and your family’s future. An attorney can show you how.