Lung Cancer Screening: Is it for you?

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Improving lung cancer survival rates
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women in the United States. This statistic also hits close to home—the commonwealth of Kentucky has one of the highest incidences of lung cancer in the country, killing more people in our commonwealth than the next eight cancers combined.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare wants to be a part of the solution. Our quest is to improve lung cancer survival rates on local, state-wide and national levels.

There’s a screening for that
A low-dose screening, as a matter of fact. St. Elizabeth offers a lung cancer screening program as part of our on-going effort to catch early, non-symptomatic lung cancer.

“Screening is the opportunity to find lung cancer early,” says Dr. Royce Calhoun, Thoracic Surgeon at St. Elizabeth. “The earlier you find the cancer, the smaller it is, and the less likely it is to spread to any lymph nodes or get in the bloodstream to spread to other organs.”

Dr. Calhoun also says that if lung cancer is caught early and removed along with all the associated lymph nodes, the five-year survival rate is upwards of 80 percent.

The lung cancer screening consists of a low-dose CT scan and is conveniently available at one of six St. Elizabeth locations: Ft. Thomas, Edgewood, Covington, Florence, Hebron and Grant County. These locations have each been designated a Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence™ (DICOE) by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

Lung cancer: Are you at risk?
At St. Elizabeth, our team approach and commitment to our patients is second to none. Our goal is to identify asymptomatic disease early in high-risk patients.

Your physician will use the following criteria to determine if you’re a candidate for the low-dose lung cancer screening:

  • Age: between the ages of 55- 77.
  • Have a 30-pack year history: pack years are calculated by multiplying the number of packs smoked per day by the number of years smoked. For example, if you smoked one pack a day for 30 years (1 x 30), that would equal a 30-pack year history. Smoking two packs a day for 15 years (2 x 15) would also equal a 30-pack year history.
  • Smoking status: current smoker or has stopped smoking in the last 15 years.

You can also take this quick health-risk assessment online to determine your need for a lung cancer screening.

Working together for a lung cancer awareness
The lung cancer screening program at St. Elizabeth helps to promote lung cancer awareness and the importance of early screening for high-risk patients. For more information or to schedule a screening appointment, please contact your primary care physician to discuss obtaining an order for a lung cancer screening CT scan. The screening is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most other insurance carriers at St. Elizabeth.