As part of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Olympus Corp. of the Americas (OCA) and the American Lung Association are partnering to raise awareness around the importance of early detection and provide a better understanding of eligibility around lung cancer screening guidelines.

In conjunction with the Lung Association, OCA will host a live panel discussion Nov. 14 at its Center Valley headquarters, featuring Dr. Deborah Stahlnecker, Medical Director for St. Luke’s Univ. Health Network Interventional Pulmonary Program, Chief of Critical Care Intensive Care Unit for St. Luke’s Hospital Anderson Campus and clinical assistant professor/faculty at Temple University School of Medicine, and Deborah Brown, Chief Mission Officer at the Lung Association.

The FacebookLive event begins at 3 p.m. and will be open to the public on the OCA Facebook page.

The event, “Breathing Life into Lung Cancer Awareness,” will look at the current state of lung cancer in the U.S. and highlight the importance of early detection. Olympus and the Lung Association want to help people understand who is at risk for lung cancer, for whom a screening is recommended based on the updated U.S Preventive Services Task Force guidelines and what a screening involves. Dr. Stahlnecker, a paid consultant for Olympus, will also address the importance of lung cancer staging once cancer is diagnosed.

“In recent years, we’ve seen a decrease in new cases of lung cancer and an improved five-year survival rate thanks to screening initiatives, advancements in staging and personalized treatments,” said Dr. Stahlnecker. “Equally important as advancements in care is eliminating barriers to that care, which is why we are focused on raising awareness about and enhancing access to lung cancer screening scans. As physicians, we have a role to play in helping patients understand who is eligible, eliminating uncertainty around screenings and offering a clear direction about next steps after a positive scan.”

The American Cancer Society estimates about 238,300 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed this year with about 127,070 deaths. Lung cancer remains the second most common cancer in both men and women and the leading cause of cancer death in the United States.1

Despite the high incidence rate of lung cancer, the Lung Association reports that nationally only 5.8% of those considered high risk for the disease get screened with a low-dose CT (LDCT) scan.2

Early detection is key as the 5-year relative survival rate for non-small cell lung cancer is about 65% when caught at a localized stage. That figure drops to about 37% once the cancer spreads outside the lungs to areas such as the lymph nodes.3

As part of its “Saved By the Scan” campaign, the Lung Association offers a quiz on lung cancer screening and eligibility.