A Dalhousie University study is looking into the importance of earlier detection for lung cancer.

The disease is the leading cause of cancer deaths across Canada. In Nova Scotia from 2000 and 2004, almost 2,000 men and 1,296 women died of lung cancer, according to the Nova Scotia Lung Association.

According to the Dalhousie study, when lung cancer is detected in its earliest stage, the survival rate is between 80 and 90 per cent. But by the time lung cancer reaches stage four, the chances of being cured are less then two per cent.

Researchers say also unlike prostate cancer and breast cancer, there is no screening policy in place for the disease

Dr. Michael Johnson is leading this study in Nova Scotia. He and the other researchers aim to prove Canada needs to include lung cancer screening in health care policy.

“Early detection can save your life,” Johnson said. “If you want to wait until symptoms present themselves, it could be too late.”

Volunteers

• Researchers are looking for more volunteers in the Halifax region. They want people between 50 and 70 who have smoked heavily for 20 years.