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    Are You at Risk for Lung Cancer?

    Chancellor Center for Oncology​ 06/07/2024

    According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.
    An annual test for lung cancer intended for long-term smokers is now being recommended by major medical organizations, including the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.  Low-dose CT, offered by Deaconess Hospital, can help detect lung cancer at its earliest, most-treatable stages.
    Low-dose CT is a lung cancer screening option available to higher-risk patients that utilizes much lower radiation than a typical CT scan—up to 70-90% less—and can find lung cancer in early, more-treatable stages.
    To be eligible for the screening, you must have the following risk factors:

    • Be between the ages of 50-80
    • Have a 20 pack-year history or more (details below)
    • Be currently smoking or have smoked within the last 15 years

    All three criteria must be met for this testing. Because the test does involve some radiation, the risk for lung cancer must be higher than the overall lifetime radiation risk. The “pack-year history” is determined by calculating how many packs of cigarettes per day have been smoked for what number of years. For example, if an individual started smoking at age 20, and smoked a pack a day until age 50, that would be 30 pack years. If that same person smoked 2 packs per day, 30 pack years would be reached by age 35.
    If someone thinks they may be a good candidate for the test, getting started with the process is easy.  The first step is to call your primary care provider or lung doctor to request a referral. This test takes is available at multiple Deaconess locations including: Deaconess Hospital Midtown, Deaconess Gateway Hospital, Deaconess Henderson Hospital, Deaconess Gibson Hospital, Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center, and Baptist Health Deaconess Madisonville.  The testing appointment will last less than 30 minutes. Many insurance companies currently pay for the screenings
    The results are interpreted by a board certified radiologist.   Results will be shared by the ordering provider and if any further testing is necessary, your doctor will schedule that for you.

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