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NCH
June 2013

NCH Offers Early Lung Cancer Screening Program

Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) is now bringing peace of mind for high-risk smokers through an Early Lung Cancer Screening program. NCH patients can find out if their lungs are cancer-free by taking a quick and painless, low-dose CT scan, which enables doctors to search for signs of cancer at an earlier stage – when lung cancer is most treatable.

Traditional X-rays provide a 2-dimensional view of the chest, showing not only the lungs, but the heart, bone and soft tissue – all of which can mask abnormalities. Low-dose CT lung scans create a detailed, 3-D 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.

An eight-year national benchmark study by the American College of Radiology Imaging Network and the National Cancer Institute showed a 20 percent reduction in lung cancer mortality in those whose cancer was detected with a low-dose CT scan, versus those whose cancer was detected with a chest x-ray.

Because radiation is involved in all imaging, patients must meet the following criteria to qualify for NCH's Early Lung Cancer Screening program:

  • Age 50 to 74
  • Smoked a pack a day for 30 years, or 2 packs a day for 15 years, OR
  • Smoked a pack a day for 20 years, or 2 packs a day for 10 years - along with an additional risk factor such as an immediate family member with lung cancer, especially if they were 65 years of age or younger at the time of diagnosis
  • Either currently smoking or quit within the past 15 years
  • No chest CT scan in the past year
  • No history of lung cancer
  • No signs or symptoms of lung cancer

Your patients can receive the screening for $189. The fee includes

  • CT Early Lung Cancer Screening
  • Radiologist review
  • Spirometry (breathing) test
  • Smoking cessation counseling or classes
  • Weekly support group

Patients can schedule a lung cancer screening by calling 847.618.3700.