EYE ON CANCER: IU Health Goshen offers new hope for lung cancer patients
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people die of lung cancer every year than any other form of cancer.
Now, a new program at a local hospital is giving some people a better chance at surviving.
12 years ago, Peg Davis got the news she never expected.
"Back then, I thought I was infallible," said Davis.
She had smoked since before she can remember. Then, doctors told her she had lung cancer.
"The surgeon who found it, I don't know if you want to tape this, told me to go home and write out my will."
80-90% of the people diagnosed with lung cancer at IU Health Goshen are smokers.
Now, a new program is offering some hope. It's called the "Lung Cancer Screening Program."
The key is early detection.
"By the time you start feeling something is wrong, it's already too late," described medical oncologist Dr. Ebenezer Kio. "It means vital organs are already being compromised by the cancer. We don't want that."
Here's how the program works:
If you're high risk, this is your next step - It's a low dose CT scan to determine if you need further treatment.
"We can detect cancer much more early, and we can do a lot more about it," added Dr. Kio.
According to IU Health Goshen, studies have shown that annual lung screenings can lower the risk of death from lung cancer by 20% in people who are high risk.
"If there's something there, and they catch it early enough, something can be done," noted Davis. "It's not a death sentence."
Something Davis knows first-hand is that although she wasn't part of this new program, by luck, doctors found her cancer while treating a different health problem. It was early enough to do something about it.
Davis is now cancer-free.
"Have faith and expect miracles; I do every single day of my life."