While a variety of cancer-screening tools – such as mammograms and colonoscopies – have been developed in recent years, few resources have been available to help detect lung cancer in its early stages.
CoxHealth, however, has been certified as an ACR Lung Cancer Screening Center, and is now offering a lung cancer screening program that will help longtime smokers have a better chance of survival through early detection.
“Lung cancer is a leading cancer killer in the United States, and kills more than colorectal, breast and prostate cancers combined,” Dr. Abe Abdalla, director of Radiation Oncology at CoxHealth. “In the past, by the time the cancer’s symptoms were obvious, it had become advanced and was difficult to treat. We believe that this new initiative will help save lives when coupled with state-of-the-art treatment and smoking cessation.”
The program is based around a low-dose CT scan of the lungs, which can identify lung nodules that may not be detected on traditional chest X-rays. Recommended follow-up is based on the results, reported by radiologists, and will be sent to the patient’s physician.
Lung cancer screening participants are encouraged to repeat the CT scan annually for a minimum of three years, as long as they meet eligibility requirements, for maximum benefit for early lung cancer detection.
· - Age 55 to 77
· - Current smoker, or smoker who has quit within the last 15 years
· - No prior history of lung cancer or treatment of other cancer in the past five years
· - No symptoms of lung cancer (unexplained weight loss, coughing blood, recent pneumonia or respiratory infection)
· - A referral from their primary care physician
· - Smoke or used to smoke, an average of more than one pack per day over 30 years, or two packs per day for 15 years (must equal 30 Pack Years)
Most insurance, including traditional Medicaid and Medicare, covers annual screening for eligible patients. Patients seeking more information about participating may call 417-730-5864 or click here.