Raising Money and Fighting Lung Cancer

By Annette Pinder

According to the U.S. Preventive Task Force (USPSTF), lung cancer is the second most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. In 2020, an estimated 228,820 people were diagnosed with lung cancer, and 135,720 persons died of the disease. As a result, the USPSTF recommends annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) for adults aged 50 to 80 years who have a 20 pack-year smoking history and who currently smoke, or who have quit within the past 15 years.

Of course, we all know by now that the greatest risk factor for lung cancer is smoking, which is estimated to account for about 90% of all lung cancer cases. In fact, the risk of lung cancer is about 20-fold higher in smokers than in nonsmokers. The median age of those diagnosed with lung cancer is 70 years, making age a risk for the disease. While lung cancer has a generally poor prognosis and an overall 5-year survival rate of 20.5%, early detection can make all the difference.

Locally, Southtown’s Radiology is pleased to be the official Lung Cancer Screening Sponsor for the American Lung Association’s annual Fight for Air Climb Buffalo. This year, the event will take place at Highmark Stadium on May 7, 2022, from 9 am to 4 pm. All climbers (civilians, firefighters, first responders, GO RUCK) will be climbing the course. They will climb up and down the sections of half of the stadium beginning on the 100-level concourse of one end zone, and end by running down the steps and onto the field of the opposite end zone. The course is approximately 900 steps down, up, and across. An “Ultimate Climber” route is also available, which takes participants around the entire 100-level of Highmark Stadium by climbing up, down, and across each section, and ending by running onto the field at Highmark Stadium (approximately 1,800 steps).

Asha Ziembiec, MD, Medical Director of Southtowns Radiology, looks forward to this year’s challenge, saying, “The climb represents a healthy challenge, reinforcing the need for healthy lungs and clean air to breathe. Every step gets us closer to a world without lung disease, and closer to a cure for lung cancer. Additionally, climbing helps improve balance and coordination, and strengthens major muscle groups, as compared to walking, running, or jogging on a flat surface.” She also notes that, “Consistent daily stair-climbing helps lower mortality risk.”

All climbers will receive an official Fight for Climb t-shirt, along with their sense of accomplishment. To learn more and register for the event, visit https://tinyurl.com/fjf6r434, or call Kaelyn Gates at 716-271-6386

Southtowns Radiology provides extensive radiology services, including low-dose CT lung cancer screening from their locations in Hamburg and Orchard Park. Additional imaging services include breast imaging, bone density screening, CT cardiac calcium scoring, CT virtual colonoscopy, MRI, Prostate MRI, PET/CT, ultrasound, X-Rays, and more. Visit www.southtownsradiology.com or call for an appointment at 716-649-9000.