NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in New York City.

One of the hardest-hit areas is Brooklyn where almost 800 residents die from the disease each year.

The key to beating lung cancer is early detection with a lung scan, and a major way to improve the chances of surviving is now free thanks to two New Yorkers.

Real estate developer and philanthropist Bruce Ratner is the founder of the Michael D. Ratner Center for Early Detection of Cancer.

Dr. Bradley Pua is the chief of interventional radiology and director of the Lung Cancer Screening Program at Weill Cornell Medicine.

The pair joined CBSN New York’s Jenna DeAngelis to talk about the screening program available in downtown Brooklyn.

Screening is being offered to people 50 to 80 years of age who are smokers or former smokers who have quit within the last 15 years and have smoked the equivalent of one pack per day for 20 years, or a half pack per day for 40 years.

The screening is not appropriate for people who have been diagnosed or treated for lung cancer within the past five years, have ever been diagnosed with any cancer that has spread (stage 4 or metastatic disease), or are experiencing the following symptoms:

  • New or worsening shortness of breath.
  • New or worsening wheezing.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Recently been diagnosed with pneumonia or viral respiratory illness.

For more information about scheduling a free lung screening at the Mobile CT Unit at Brooklyn’s Metrotech Plaza, call 855-586-4769, or visit their website at www.LungsNY.org. Appointments can be made on dates throughout January.

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