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BC invests in early detection lung cancer screening

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 2:48 PDT, Mon September 14, 2020

BC has invested in a new lung cancer screening program to provide early detection screening, the first of its kind in Canada.

“At a time when we are dealing with the challenges of COVID-19, it’s easy to forget that many families around the province are grappling with a cancer diagnosis. Cancer doesn’t wait for global pandemics, and we know that early detection can save lives,” said Premier John Horgan. “Our new lung cancer screening program will mean more treatment options, faster recovery and better outcomes for people around the province. It’s part of our work to keep people safe and healthy—no matter what they’re dealing with.”  

The target population for this new cancer screening program will be adults aged 55 to 74 who smoke or have a heavy smoking history. The first participants could be receiving scans by spring 2022.

“In 2020, an estimated 3,300 people in BC will be diagnosed with lung cancer,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “Through early detection with this new lung cancer screening program, we will see survival rates dramatically improve. Similar to our other cancer screening programs, British Columbia is leading the way. We are proud to be the first province in Canada to establish a lung cancer screening program.”

It is anticipated approximately 300 people will be diagnosed each year through the program. They will be diagnosed earlier, giving them more treatment options. Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in Canada and worldwide, and it kills six British Columbians each day. Seventy per cent of all lung cancers are currently diagnosed at an advanced stage, and when symptoms are already present.

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