What type of cough should I see a doctor for?
In general, any cough that persists for more than two weeks should be considered potentially serious.
What type of symptoms will lung cancer create?
Lung cancer is symptomless until the late stages, so if you're having a symptom from lung cancer, like cough, phlegm, coughing up blood, or weight loss, chest pain; usually that means that the lung cancer has spread beyond what is considered operable. A small nodule on a small spot on the lung is easily resectable, at that stage, it is usually always asymptomatic, no symptoms are present at that point in time. So it is extremely important that if you are at high risk for it, especially with the new information that we have available, you consider screening tests, and obviously avoid further damage by quitting smoking and avoiding activities that can lead to lung cancer.
How often should I get screened for lung cancer?
At this point in time the recommendations are not clear cut, at least annual screenings in the beginning, but how long and how often, we're still waiting for formal recommendations from the higher committees, the group of physicians and organizations that make those recommendations, but at least do one time first, and then worry about later.
So, if smokers get screened, cancers might be curable?
If you are a long time smoker, and especially if you have signs of COPD or other lung problems related to cigarette damage, and if you have family history then it makes sense. Obviously not every patient will need to be screened, only a physician can make that call.