CT scan showing a cancerous tumor in the left lung Wikipedia image

NYU Oncologist Discusses Lung Cancer During Awareness Month

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Sally Lau

Dr. Sally Lau

Dr. Sally Lau MD
Medical oncologist, NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center
Assistant professor of medicine
NYU Grossman School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: How big is the problem of lung cancer?

Response: Amongst all cancer types, lung cancer is the number 1 killer in the US.

MedicalResearch.com: Are there different types, and risk factors, for lung cancer? 

Response:   Smoking is the most common risk factor for lung cancer. Smoking cessation programs have reduced lung cancer related deaths. The long-term effects of vaping are unknown. Increasingly, non-smokers are also getting lung cancers. The rising incidence is concerning. Some of the risk factors for non-smoker lung cancers are family history and air pollution.

MedicalResearch.com: Are there symptoms of early lung cancer that patients should be aware of? Would you comment on recommendations for CT screening ie of high-risk patients?

Response:  Early stage lung cancers are usually asymptomatic. In smokers, screening lung CTs help to diagnose cancers when they are still at an early stage and studies have shown that screening reduces lung cancer related deaths. There is no screening strategy for non-smokers, but studies are underway.

MedicalResearch.com: How is treatment, and longevity, of lung cancer changing?

Response:  Lung cancer is not just one disease. As we are learning more about its biology, we have new treatments that are much more effective with much less side effects. For many lung cancer patients with advanced disease the prognosis have dramatically improved, often measured in years with treatment. Our goal however, is to identify these patients earlier and treat with the new drugs to improve the cure rates.

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Last Updated on November 14, 2022 by Marie Benz MD FAAD