Lung cancer is the nation’s leading cause of cancer deaths. That’s why the American Lung Association and the Ad Council are launching a campaign to raise awareness of the need for testing for the disease, especially among smokers.

“If everyone who qualified got scanned, 48,000 lives each year would be saved from lung cancer,” said Dr. Jacob Sands, Thoracic Medical Oncologist. “That really comes from detecting the disease early, when it’s curable.”

Individuals who may be at high risk are encouraged to visit to learn more about lung cancer and take the lung cancer screening eligibility quiz.

“If we detect it as a stage one diagnosis, that’s something that surgery can be done, cut it out, potentially chemotherapy, but some people don’t even need that, just the surgery is enough,” said Sands.

It’s important to get the scan if you are age 55 to 80 and you smoked within the last 15 years.

“It is covered by private insurance,” said Sands. “It’s covered by Medicare without co-pays. People need to make sure they’re in network, or something like that, but, essentially, this is something that is covered entirely by insurance.”

If lung cancer is caught before it spreads, the likelihood of surviving 5 years or more improves to 56%.