In South Carolina, approximately 3,896 people are diagnosed with lung cancer and 2,797 die from the disease each year. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, and exposure to secondhand smoke, asbestos and radon contributes to lung cancer for non-smoking adults. Per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to elevated radon levels is the number one cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers.
The most effective way to prevent lung cancer for all individuals is to never start smoking cigarettes or to stop smoking if currently a smoker. Lung cancer screenings are recommended for adults aged 45 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Screening should be discontinued once a person has not smoked for 15 years or develops extensive health issues.