CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) officials released information that said lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in South Carolina.
This research comes after the American Lung Association released their 2021 Tobacco Control Report that gave South Carolina an “F” for four out of the five categories.
This report alarmed Dr. Elizabeth Kline, Thoracic Surgeon at Roper St. Francis Hospital.
“Sadly that says….we need to get serious about decreasing or eliminating tobacco use and helping people with that addiction,” she said.
Dr. Kline said, often times, symptoms could be nonexistent for lung cancer.
“Most lung cancers, when they’re in the early stages, aren’t symptomatic at all. When they’re symptomatic, they’re usually later stage and they’re not curable,” said Dr. Kline.
Roper St. Francis has found two in 100 asymptomatic lung cancer patients out of nearly 3,000 lung screenings given annually.
Now that we are living in a pandemic with a disease that attacks the lungs, Dr. Kline believes it could lead to more lives being saved in the future.
“COVID is a bad disease and it kills people and that may be one of the few silver linings of that disease which is it might get people to, if they have lung cancer, it can be found earlier,” said Dr. Kline about COVID potentially affecting lung cancer screenings.
Dr. Kline said Roper St. Francis always re-evaluates patients after their surgery to ensure no further treatment is necessary.