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Mayor Jane Castor Urges Eligible Tampa Residents to Receive Lung Cancer Screenings

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The American Lung Cancer Screening Initiative (ALCSI) is raising awareness about the importance of lung cancer screening in Tampa and encouraging residents to take advantage of available screening options.

Florida ranks 40th among all states in lung cancer screening rates, with only 3.4 percent of those at high risk being screened, according to data from the American Lung Association (ALA). This is significantly lower than the national rate of 5.8 percent. The ALA suggests that low awareness of screening may be a contributing factor to these low rates. 

"As someone who has personally been affected by lung cancer with both my father and sister being diagnosed, I understand the importance of early detection and screening," Mayor Jane Castor said. "I urge all Tampa residents who are at high risk for lung cancer to take advantage of the screening options available to them and to talk to their healthcare provider about the best course of action for them."

Individuals who meet the following criteria are eligible for lung cancer screening:

  1. Are between the ages of 50 and 80 years old
  2. Have a heavy smoking history,
  3. Are currently smoking or have quit within the past 15 years.

To assist Tampa residents in getting screened, ALCSI has partnered with Dr. Lary Robinson, a thoracic surgeon at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. Dr. Robinson has been a guest speaker on ALCSI's podcast on lung cancer screening and is available to provide information and guidance on the screening process.

"The numbers don't lie: by utilizing screening chest CT scans, we have the potential to detect up to 15,000 cases of lung cancer annually in Florida, with 12,000 of those being in the early, potentially curable stages,” Dr. Robinson said. “With only 3.4 percent of eligible individuals currently taking advantage of this screening, we urge Floridians to take advantage of this life-saving opportunity and not wait until it's too late."

Residents can also visit the Moffitt Cancer Center website to find out more about screening options and insurance coverage.

ALCSI emphasizes that early detection is key in the fight against lung cancer, and encourages all Tampa residents who are at high risk to schedule a screening as soon as possible.

For more information, please contact the American Lung Cancer Screening Initiative at info@alsci.org.