This medical video looks at the new research that allows lungs to be more easily saved.
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Jennifer Matthews: Elaine Oliver values the time she has with her family. For 30 years, Elaine smoked a pack of cigarettes a day. Like many smokers, she developed lung cancer. Unlike many, hers was found early. Dr. Claudia Henschke: You find it typically very late, and then the vast majority, some 90 percent or more, will die of it. Jennifer Matthews: Doctor Claudia Henschke says low dose CT screening can make the difference. Dr. Claudia Henschke; In a single breath hold, you get all the images from the top of your lungs all the way down to the bottom of your lungs, and that allows you to detect small cancers that are about the size of a grain of rice, rather than finding it when it's the size of an apple or an orange. Jennifer Matthews: Doctor Henschke says nearly 85 percent of the lung cancers this 20 second test finds are detected in their most curable stages. Dr. Claudia Henschke: 85 percent of them were missed on the chest X-ray. I think that you could reduce the deaths by some 50 percent is our best projection. Jennifer Matthews: Armed with information about lung cancer and a clean bill of health, Elaine has given up smoking and is ready to live a healthier life. Elaine Oliver: Not having cigarettes, not eating the chocolate, I'm doing away with all my bad habits. I don't know, they're going to give me a halo, I think. Jennifer Matthews: Her family doesn't doubt it. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.