Never smoking or quitting smoking have been proven to reduce the incidence of lung cancer, but the greatest chance to survive lung cancer is by catching it early. This can be accomplished with a simple lung cancer screening.
Entering its fifth year, Adena Health System’s free lung cancer screening program has become a national model for excellence – and is saving lives. Since it began in November 2014, nearly 3,000 people have been screened for the disease. Of those, 83 have been diagnosed with lung cancer, one was diagnosed with breast cancer, and other patients have been found to have heart aneurysms, tumors and other conditions they may not have known about until it was too late, thanks to the free CT scan.
“For decades, we have known that smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, yet people still do it,” said Adena Radiation Oncologist Dr. Greg Thompson. “The goal of the screening is to prevent more people from dying, by catching cancer in the early stages when it is more treatable. Many people will not have any symptoms of lung cancer, especially in the early stages, making it harder to detect and treat. That’s why a lung cancer screening is so important.”
The no-cost lung cancer screening is a simple, painless, low dose, non-invasive CT scan. The test easily identifies tumors or lesions that may need medical attention.
Those eligible for the free screening are:
· Between 55-74 years old;
· Have 30 or more “pack years” of smoking in their past (a pack year = 1 pack a day for 30 years, 2 packs a day for 15 years, 3 packs a day for 10 years, etc.);
· A current smoker or someone who has quit smoking in the past 15 years.
If you or a loved one falls into this recommended group, consider setting up a lung cancer screening. Like a mammogram, people in the above groups are recommended to have a lung screen each year for the greatest chance of survival in the event of a lung cancer diagnosis.
Adena’s free lung cancer screenings are available year round. A special Lung Cancer Awareness Month event will be held on Saturday, Nov. 23 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Adena Regional Medical Center.
Patients meeting the screening criteria, or those who are due for a follow-up screening, may schedule an appointment for this specific event, or a date and time that works with their schedule. Register by calling 740-542-LUNG (5864).
Submitted by Jason Gilham, communications manager, Adena Health System.