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Early Lung Cancer Screening

New hope for high-risk smokers

Knowledge is power

If you're a smoker or former smoker, you know your risks of getting lung cancer are much higher than a non-smoker.. But now you don't have to wait and worry. There is an Early Lung Cancer Screening at NCH for your peace of mind. This quick and painless low-dose CT scan enables doctors to search for signs of lung cancer at an earlier stage - when it's most treatable. Don't let fear keep you in the dark. Knowledge is power, and this knowledge could save your life.

Preferred screening site

NCH is committed to diagnosing lung problems at the earliest possible stage. We were one of the first hospitals in the Chicago area to provide Early Lung Cancer Screenings for high-risk smokers using low-dose CT scans. And, because we have a comprehensive lung program and follow national guidelines to further evaluate positive findings, we are also a preferred screening site for the Lung Cancer Alliance in Illinois.

The benchmark study

In November 2010, the preliminary results of a groundbreaking study were released. The National Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NLST) showed:

  • 20% reduction in lung cancer mortality among current or former heavy smokers when cancer was detected by a low-dose CT scan versus a chest x-ray.
  • Of those cancers detected during the trial, 40% were found at an early and treatable stage.

The NLST was performed by the American College of Radiology Imaging Network and the National Cancer Institute.

NCH responded quickly, becoming one of the first hospitals in the Chicago area to launch an Early Lung Cancer Screening program in early 2011 for those who are high-risk for lung cancer.

Low-dose CT scans

Traditional x-rays provide a 2-dimensional view of the chest, showing the lungs as well as the heart, bone and soft tissue - all of which can mask abnormalities. Low-dose Computed Tomography (CT) lung scans create a detailed, 3-dimensional image, giving doctors a clearer, unobstructed view of the lungs - and the ability to detect tiny nodules that would often not be visible on a chest x-ray.

If you are eligible to have this screening, this is what you can expect at NCH:

  • Quick and painless scanning procedure that takes just minutes
  • Review of your scan by a board-certified radiologist for lung nodules, emphysema, and COPD and calcified coronary arterial disease
  • Basic lung function testing by Respiratory Therapist
  • Smoking cessation counseling on the day of the exam or by appointment with a Tobacco Treatment Specialist
  • Smoking cessation classes, weekly support groups and follow-up provided on site
  • Multidisciplinary thoracic conference review or pulmonology consult can be requested by ordering physician for any positive findings

Don't wait. The time to know is now.

Catch cancer early, when it's most treatable. NCH believes this screening is so important, we are offering it to the community for the reduced price of $99. Insurance does not currently cover this screening, but patients may be able to use their HSA or FSA funds to cover the cost.

For questions or to request a screening, call:
Juli Aistars, RN, APN, AOCN, TTS at 847-618-6572
Lung Nurse Navigator

Lung cancer causes more deaths a year than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined.

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Last Updated 2014/10/17