In North Carolina, lung cancer is a problem. The North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics projected there would be 8,768 new cases of lung cancer and 6,191 deaths from lung cancer in 2016. In 2012, lung cancer accounted for 29.6 percent of cancer deaths in North Carolina according to the North Carolina Division of Public Health.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention published in the map below that North Carolina has one of the highest lung cancer incidence rates in the country.
Lung and Brochus Cancer Incidence Rates by State, 2013
According to Matthew Boyter, a resident in radiation oncology at Duke University, lung cancer causes more than a million deaths each year worldwide. Michelle Aurelius, a pathologist who diagnoses cancer and signs death certificates for North Carolina wrote that North Carolina has a higher mortality rate from lung cancer compared to the U.S.
But with modern technology, there are now new precision therapeutics that allow for patients to be tested based on their DNA.
Cancer is complicated: each person’s cancer is unique and no two people have the same type. It is essential for doctors, patients and their families to know that there are many tools available to fighting lung cancer.
This is why individuals should consider undergoing comprehensive genomic testing, a test that can find genetic alterations in a patient’s tumor and suggest the most effective treatment with just one sample of tissue within two or three weeks.
To increase awareness for genomic testing, the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and Foundation Medicine partnered to launch the “Don’t Guess. Test” campaign, which urges people to get tested, consult with their physician about comprehensive genomic testing and explore treatment options.
While November is “Lung Cancer Awareness” month, it is always smart to consult with your physician anytime during the year about treatment options. Broad molecular profiling is indicated in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines for individuals with lung cancer and the testing is also covered under Medicare.
Lung cancer doesn't have to be a death sentence—comprehensive genomic profiling takes the trial and error out of the hands of physicians and ensures that patients have the best possible treatment outcome for fighting their disease.
Resources are always available at the Lung Cancer Initiative in North Carolina and for more information about comprehensive genomic testing, make sure to consult with your doctor or visit us online at dontguesstest.org. Want updates on the latest news about cancer and treatment options? Follow us on Twitter @DontGuessTest.