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.
Adena began offering its free screenings in 2013. Since the program’s inception, more than 3,200 patients have been screened, with about 130 of those being formally diagnosed with cancer. Because of the early diagnosis, some of those patients were able to have completely curative surgical removals that did not require chemotherapy or radiation treatments.
Many people may not experience symptoms linked to lung cancer, especially in the early stages. This is why a lung cancer screening is so important. The no-cost lung cancer screening is a simple, painless, low dose, non-invasive CT scan that can identify tumors or lesions potentially needing further medical attention.
While several health care organizations offer lung cancer CT screenings, the majority bill insurance or, at minimum, require a co-pay. Adena decided at the onset of its program to offer the screenings for free in order to better serve its patient population regardless of insurance status.
Those eligible for the free screening are:
· Between 50-80 years old;
· Have 20 or more “pack years” of smoking in their past (a pack year = 1 pack a day for 20 years, 2 packs a day for 15 years, 3 packs a day for 10 years, etc.); and
· Are a current smoker, or someone who has quit smoking in the past 15 years.
If you or a loved one meet these criteria, consider setting up a free lung cancer screening. 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. In addition to the screenings, the program also provides patients with information on tobacco cessation and a program offered by the health system through which smoking cessation counseling is offered.
Adena’s free lung cancer screenings are available year round, but the health system will be holding a special screening event from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 4 at Adena Regional Medical Center, 272 Hospital Rd., Chillicothe.
Patients meeting the screening criteria may schedule an appointment for this specific event, or a future lung cancer screening by calling 740-542-LUNG (5864).
Submitted by Jason Gilham, communications manager, Adena Health System.