Lung Cancer Screening for Women in Primary Care
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Lung cancer kills more people than any other cancer. Women are more likely to contract lung cancer than men while women are also increasingly likely to survive lung cancer. Lung cancer kills more people than colon, breast and prostate cancer combined. The incidence of lung cancer has decreased in men by 15% while it has increased in women by 150%. The prevalence of lung cancer in women, the number of deaths from the disease, the stage at which lung cancer is diagnosed, and the mortality rate makes this subject one of the most important topics in health care today. Nurse practitioners need to be knowledgeable and familiar with the latest evidence based research regarding lung cancer as well as known risk factors and recommendations for screening. This article provides an overview of the epidemiology, histology, risk factors, and symptoms of lung cancer. It specifically addresses lung cancer in women, recommendations for lung cancer screening in women and potential for reduced morbidity and mortality if screening is done by a diligent and knowledgeable nurse practitioner. [With] early detection and treatment, lives can be saved as well as costly medical dollars. These facts should encourage primary providers to screen high risk women patients.