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COVID-19’s Impact on Lung Cancer Screening and Diagnosis

September 8, 2021 by Emily Clevenger

In 2020, many Americans delayed seeing their doctors due to the pandemic. As a result, important tests, like lung cancer screenings, declined by more than 50% from the previous year.¹ Those who delayed screenings and are diagnosed with lung cancer at a late stage could potentially have a lower five-year survival rate.²

It’s important to recognize the signs of lung cancer and visit their doctors to discuss their symptoms. An unexplained, persistent cough lasting more than three weeks is an example of a symptom of lung cancer that people should be aware of.³ With lung cancer being the deadliest cancer for both men and women,4 reinforcing the importance of regular doctor checkups and screenings can help increase the chance of survival.

Please utilize and share the resources linked below with your employees to help them identify the signs of lung cancer and understand the importance of regular screenings and early detection.

Importance of Detecting Lung Cancer Early (002) (PDF)

GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer

American Cancer Society’s – Lung Cancer Causes, Risk Factors and Prevention

CDC’s Lung Cancer Awareness

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1. Patt D, Gordan L, Diaz M, et al. The impact of COVID-19 on cancer care: how the pandemic is delaying cancer diagnosis and treatment for American seniors. JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics. doi: 10.1200/CCI.20.00134

2. American Lung Association. State of lung cancer 2020 key findings. November 17, 2020. Accessed June 23, 2021.

3. Global Lung Cancer Coalition. COVID-19 and lung cancer symptoms – know the difference. January 2021. Accessed March 22, 2021.

4. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2021. Accessed April 29, 2021.

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