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Advanced Lung Cancer Screenings Can Save Lives

December 4, 2019

Lung cancer remains the #1 cancer killer of both men and women in the United States. Nearly 225,000 Americans will be diagnosed with  lung cancer this year. Almost 143,000 will die from lung cancer this year -- more than a quarter of all cancer deaths in the U.S. More women will die from lung cancer than from breast cancer.

“Lung cancer can be very aggressive,” said Federico Cerrone, MD, medical director, Atlantic Health System Lung Cancer Screening Program. “Generally, the earlier we catch lung cancer, the more likely we will be able to cure it. The technology we use in our screening program is more effective at detecting lung cancer than older imaging modalities.”

The Atlantic Health System lung cancer test uses low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) that only takes a few minutes to complete and may identify lung cancer at earlier, more curable stages. When compared to chest X-rays used in early detection, the LDCT screening reduces lung cancer deaths in high-risk individuals by 20 percent. The screening test is covered by Medicare and most commercial insurance (a written referral is required).

“The beauty of low-dose lung screening is that it’s simple and effective,” said Dr. Cerrone. Atlantic Health System conducts more than 150 screenings per month and approximately 2% of screenings show early findings of lung cancer, similar to LDCT screening results nationwide.

The exam takes less than 10 minutes once the person is inside the CT scanner.

The screening program is open to: ·       

  • Those between the ages of 55 and 77;
  • Current smokers or those who have quit within the last 15 years;
  • Individuals with at least a 30 packs/year tobacco history (packs per day times years smoking);
  • People with no history of lung cancer.

Atlantic Health System offers convenient scheduling at all locations.

All screening participants receive a letter explaining their results and recommended follow up care, and their health care providers receive a formal interpretation from a board-certified radiologist.

 A Lung Screening Nurse Navigator is available to answer questions about screening results, and can also provide referrals to pulmonologists.

Other Atlantic Health System lung health programs include:

  • Community Quit Smoking Program – Led by certified tobacco treatment specialists
  • Better Breathers Club – Support group and educational program
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation – Run by respiratory therapists, this program helps individuals with breathing difficulties increase their strength and stamina and improve quality of life.

For more information visit the Lung Cancer Screening Program, or call 1-844-228-5864.

 


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