The Morning Blend


Routine medical check-ups: why they are so important

Routine medical check-ups: why they are so important
Posted at 7:15 AM, Nov 01, 2021

Merck is a paid sponsor of The Morning Blend

Americans delayed visits for routine medical care due to the pandemic. As a result, important tests, like lung cancer screenings, went down by more than 50% from the previous year.

In preperation for Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Annabelle Gurwitch, New York Times best-selling author and activist living with lung cancer and Kim Norris, President and Co-Founder of Lung Cancer Foundation of America (LCFA), patient advocate and caregiver talk about how COVID-19 has impacted routine doctor’s appointments and important tests, like lung cancer screenings, over the past year and a half. They also explain why it is important to bring awareness to this topic during LCAM, and talk about what else is the advocacy community is doing to address this issue.


  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women in the U.S., making up almost 25% of all cancer deaths.  
  • Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined.  
  • When lung cancer is found early, the five-year survival rate is nearly 60%, which means more than half of people live for at least five-years. But when it is found late, the five-year survival rate drops to only 6%.  
  • While anyone can get lung cancer, your risk goes up if you are over 50 years old and: 
  • Currently smoke or smoked in the past 
  • Have been around secondhand smoke  
  • Have a family history of the disease, such as a parent or sibling  
    *The above list does not include all risk factors for lung cancer.  

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