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Atlantic Health System Offers Advanced Lung Cancer Screening

November 21, 2019

Dr. Cerrone urges early detection, as we observe national Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Morristown, NJ – November is national Lung Cancer Awareness Month. 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 on the Lung Cancer Screening Program, visit https://www.atlantichealth.org/conditions-treatments/pulmonary-services/lung-cancer-screening-program.html or call 1-844-228-5864.

About Atlantic Health System Cancer Care

Atlantic Health System Cancer Care offers an unparalleled network of cancer specialists and resources for more than 6000 patients annually through its flagship Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown and Overlook medical centers, as well as its comprehensive oncology programs at Chilton, Hackettstown and Newton medical centers. Atlantic Health System Cancer Care is the lead affiliate of Atlantic Health Cancer Consortium (AHCC) - the only New Jersey-based National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). The NCORP develops and implements NCI cancer prevention, screening, care delivery, and treatment studies with leading healthcare systems across the state. With more than 250 cancer specialists, all five hospitals and Atlantic Medical Group are designated Blue Cross Blue Shield ‘Blue Distinction Centers’ and have been recognized nationally for the role in advancing the fight against cancer. Morristown, Overlook, Chilton and Newton medical centers earned the coveted American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer Outstanding Achievement Award and earned Three-Year Approval with Commendation. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Atlantic Health System hospitals as high performing in colon cancer surgery, lung cancer surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, and pulmonology. Atlantic Health System Cancer Care is affiliated with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) of Phoenix, Arizona, and together they have launched the Breakthrough Oncology Accelerator, a pioneering research and clinical collaboration designed to improve patient access to the most innovative and sophisticated therapies for cancer.

About Atlantic Health System

Atlantic Health System has a long-standing tradition of providing exceptional patient outcomes and experiences. Home to seven award-winning hospitals including Morristown Medical Center, the number one hospital in NJ according to U.S. News & World Report, Castle Connelly and Newsweek’s World’s Best Hospitals, the system has been ranked first in New Jersey in consumer preference by Monigle and first among health systems in New Jersey as a “best workplace” by both Modern Healthcare and Fortune Magazine.

Many of the system’s programs have received national accolades and designations, including Morristown Medical Center’s Cardiology and Heart Surgery program ranked among the top 30 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report; Morristown Medical Center’s Orthopedics program ranked among the top 35 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report and Atlantic Health System’s Cancer Care program, New Jersey’s first and only National Cancer Institute National Community Oncology Research Program. Additionally, Atlantic Health System Neuroscience at Overlook Medical Center, working with Atlantic Mobile Health, was the first in the nation to deploy and use portable Telestroke technology in ambulances for routine pre-hospital assessment of stroke patients.

Powered by a passionate workforce of 17,000 team members and 4,800 affiliated physicians dedicated to building healthier communities, Atlantic Health System serves more than half of the state of New Jersey, including 11 counties and 4.9 million people. The system provides care for the full continuum of health needs across a wide array of settings, including Atlantic Medical Group, one of the largest multi-specialty practices in New Jersey with more than 1,000 physicians and providers, 12 urgent care centers, Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute, Atlantic Home Care and Hospice and Atlantic Anywhere’s Virtual Visits. Facilitating connections between these services on both land and air is the transportation fleet of Atlantic Mobile Health.

With a clear sense of purpose and an unparalleled culture, Atlantic Health System attracts top leaders in the field of health care, from CEO Brian Gragnolati, who is currently Chairman of the American Hospital Association, to the numerous team members who serve as leaders across national clinical associations and research entities.