The facts are sobering. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer related mortality in the world. And, unlike some cancers, the five-year survival rates are about 16%. The reason for this is partly because symptoms emerge slowly. By the time a nagging cough, chest pain or weight loss develops and lung cancer is diagnosed, the disease may already be advanced. But, with a simple low-dose CT (LDCT) scan, early stage lung cancer is more likely to be detected. And, more importantly, more likely to be successfully treated.
Realizing the need for a proactive lung cancer screening program,
Holy Redeemer has created a patient-friendly center with convenient nurse navigators and screening, all under one roof.
Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. The abnormal cells can grow and develop into tumors that interfere with the function of the lung. But, because it can take a while for any physical symptoms to develop, early detection is literally a life saver.
Cigarette smoking is the cause of most lung cancers, but there are other factors, too. Exposure to asbestos, radon, environmental factors and secondhand smoke can also cause lung cancer.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) conducted a large national lung screening trial (NLST), which showed a benefit in detecting lung cancer earlier in heavy smokers using LDCT. Essentially, it comes down to how long and how much you have smoked in your lifetime.
If you answer yes to the statements below, you are most likely a candidate for a lung screening:
- I am between the ages of 50-79
- I have a significant smoking history, even if I already quit smoking (i.e. - smoked more than a pack of cigarettes per day for 20 years)
- I do not have a history of lung cancer within the past 5 years
Regardless of your eligibility for participation in the lung screening program, if you are a smoker, we recommend enrollment in a smoking cessation program.
You owe it to yourself and your loved ones, to take control of your health. For a long-term smoker, a proactive lung cancer screening test is among the most important steps toward securing extended quality of life.
Currently, this screening test is covered by most insurances. When you call to make an appointment we will work with you to determine your specific coverage.
To make an appointment call Holy Redeemer at 215-938-LUNG. We will then schedule an appointment time that works for you. There is no preparation for your appointment and when you arrive your program coordinator will explain how the scan works and what to expect.
The scan you will receive is a LDCT scan of the chest. This scan is painless and takes just a few minutes. The amount of radiation received from the scan is very low. It is approximately 1/8 the amount that would be received from having a regular CT scan and similar to the radiation exposure you receive naturally from the environment over approximately 6 months.
In addition to state-of-the-art CT scanning equipment and an expert level of specialty physicians, you will benefit from having a dedicated nurse navigator guide you through the process.
A radiologist will review the LDCT scan to determine if any abnormalities are present. If your results indicate the need for further testing or follow up, then the nurse navigator will explain the next steps. In the event that your results are concerning, it’s good to know that you are with Holy Redeemer—one of the area’s leading healthcare providers.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 215-938-LUNG.