Surviving Beyond Five Years

Dr. James Jett and RachelRachel was lucky.

A CT scan for digestive problems revealed a nodule on her lung, which brought her to Ali Musani, MD,and James Jett, MD, at National Jewish Health. After an extensive work-up, they recommended surgery to remove the nodule, which turned out to be an especially aggressive form of lung cancer. Today, two years after completing chemotherapy, she is cancer-free and has an excellent prognosis.

Five-year survival for all lung cancer patients has remained stubbornly low, around 15 percent. The most promising strategy for improving lung cancer survival is early detection. Dr. Jett contributed to a landmark study demonstrating that annual CT screening of high-risk patients could reduce lung cancer deaths by 20 percent.

National Jewish Health is working hard to push that number higher and take the luck out of lung cancer detection and survival. Clinical trials are testing better ways to detect early stage lung cancer with low-dose radiation CT scans and biomarkers. Physicians in the Lung Nodule Clinic are able to biopsy small nodules with advanced navigational tools that help guide bronchoscopes to previously inaccessible nodules.


Learn more about our full service oncology program and the other cancers we treat by visiting the Division of Oncology page.

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