AUGUSTA, GA. (WJBF) – Medical professionals from across the state are speaking about the signs, risks, and effects lung cancer can have on all people.

“He was at stage four, and he was diagnosed earlier, but he didn’t let us know,” Jeanette Scott said.

Dr. Curtis J. Coley II specializes in Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine at Piedmont Atlanta and says that’s the challenge they hear many African American patients face. 

“There’s a plethora of evidence that exists that when there’s matched ethnicities between patients and their providers, that mortality decreases or basically health improves.” 

Dr. Coley believes Saturday morning’s panel gave folks a chance to identify with their care providers and the health risks they might face. 

“Because that’s what it really is about. This is a platform where we can share information and experiences with each other to hopefully improve the health of the population.” 

Jeanette Scott lives in the area and sees these kinds of events as a way to strengthen the community.

“They answered some very, very good questions that gave us some very, very good information that I didn’t know having nursed for 40 years. A lot has changed in 40 years, technology has changed and stuff. But, it was just so informative for me to have the opportunity to attend.” 

Another reason why less people catch the disease in its earlier stages, Doctors say, is because they’re too afraid to check.

“The whole point of doing the screening C-T Scans is to catch those nodules when they are still small, have early intervention can eventually cure it with therapies that are delivered to patients earlier to, again, help them live longer,” Dr. Coley said.

Which is why Dr. Coley tells me it’s important to make sure you have a proactive approach with your own health. 

“Everything was so informative– no specifics– and we’ll get the second part next week, so I’m curious to know what other questions other people might have,” Scott said. 

For more information on signs to look out for visit.