Women who are longtime smokers could potentially save their lives by undergoing lung screens on the same day they schedule mammograms, according to a study by Vanderbilt researchers published in the Journal of Medical Screening.

The researchers reviewed data from 18,040 women who were screened for breast cancer in 2015 at two imaging facilities that also performed lung screenings. Of that number, a confirmed 251 met the guidelines for lung screens, but only 63 of them were also screened for lung cancer by June 2019. Three of the women who underwent lung screening were diagnosed with lung cancer, and none died. Of the 188 women who weren’t screened, seven were later diagnosed with lung cancer — including more advanced stages of the disease — resulting in five deaths. There were no deaths from breast cancer in this cohort during the study period.

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