Newswise — November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, an ideal time to increase public awareness and understanding of this mostly preventable cancer. The leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, lung cancer costs exceeded $13 billion in 2015, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center experts are available to discuss diagnosis and treatment, innovations in treatment, research initiatives, the biology of lung cancers and provide tips for successful smoking cessation.

Lisa Carter-Harris, Ph.D., APRN, assistant professor in the IU School of Nursing and a member of the Cancer Prevention and Control research program at the IU Simon Cancer Center. Dr. Carter-Harris examines individual health beliefs that influence decisions about lung cancer screening. She has developed a computer tailored decision aid, LungTalk, to prepare patients to discuss lung screening with their health care providers.

Advances made in the treatment of lung cancer in the past five years exceed those of the past 50 years, says Nasser Hanna, M.D., professor of medicine at IU School of Medicine and a hematologist/oncologist specializing in thoracic oncology at the IU Simon Cancer Center. He has been treating patients with lung cancer for nearly 20 years and says long-term survivors with metastatic lung cancer were not seen often in clinics. Until now. Targeted therapy and immunotherapy have revolutionized the treatments and major advances are expected in the next few years. Dr. Hanna also can discuss the epidemiology of lung cancer in smokers and non-smokers, inflammation and lung cancer, the importance of early diagnosis and other topics of importance. 

IU Simon Cancer Center Tobacco Control Services Director Deborah Hudson’s research focuses on how tobacco impacts mental health and addiction recovery. Hudson also is available to share tips on how to successfully stop smoking and to discuss the latest research on what works and what doesn’t for smoking cessation programs. Health benefits associated with quitting smoking include a lowered risk of lung cancer and other types of cancer; reduced risk for heart disease, respiratory illnesses and infertility in women.

Shadia Jalal, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine at IU School of Medicine and a hematologist/oncologist at the IU Simon Cancer Center. She focuses on management on all forms of lung cancer and DNA repair capacity and its impact on patient response to chemotherapy.