Stony Brook University doctors: Early cancer screening and detection saves lives

Doctors at Stony Brook University's Cancer Center say when it comes to saving lives, early cancer screenings and detection are key.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, nearly nine out of 10 lung cancer cases are caused by smoking cigarettes.
Theresa Kusmierczyk, a real estate agent from Massapequa who smoked for 51 years, is urging smokers to get screened.
"Just do it, just do it," says Kusmierczyk. "This is worse than the fear of going. I hope this inspires somebody else to go and maybe save their life."
Doctors at Stony Brook University's Cancer Center say Kusmierczyk is beating the disease because she went for a lung cancer screening just in time.
"The day they found the tumor, I quit smoking," says Kusmierczyk. "I just needed a little incentive - cancer being the incentive."
The United States Preventive Services Task Force, an independent volunteer panel of national experts in disease prevention, just drafted new recommendations for lung cancer screenings. 
The draft includes lowering the age for screening from 55 to 50 and lowering the smoking history from 30 packs a year to 20. Doctors say the proposed recommendations on screening for lung cancer may save even more lives than before.
"The idea is to catch these things before they develop into a real problem," says Dr. Roger Kereszles.
According to the American Cancer Society, the number of new lung cancer cases has decreased because people have quit smoking . In addition, they say advances in early detection and treatment have helped.
For more information on getting screened call the Stony Brook Lung Cancer Screening Program at 631-638-7000.