Medical Minute: Lung Cancer Screening
Smoking is responsible for about 80% of lung cancer cases. In order to catch lung cancer early, OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital offers a lung cancer screening for those most at risk. A 2011 screening trial by the National Cancer Institute found a 20-percent reduction in lung cancer-related deaths in smokers.
“Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in men and women,” said Katie Exten, MD, medical oncologist and hematologist at OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital and OhioHealth Shelby Hospital. “The biggest risk factor by far is smoking.”
OhioHealth recommends these criteria for lung cancer screening:
- Patients should be 50-80 years of age with at least 20 pack years, which equals 1 pack per day for 20 years of smoking.
- If patients have quit smoking, it should be within the past 15 years.
- Patients should have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer.
The screening is done with imaging technology, more specifically a low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest. The process is simple, and the scan only takes 20 seconds. No preparation is needed prior. Patients may eat and drink non-alcoholic beverages as usual, and comfortable clothing without metal should be worn. The CT is an open machine and no dye is needed, so there are no concerns of claustrophobia or needles.
The OhioHealth Lung Cancer Program provides a multidisciplinary team approach with dedicated radiologists by combining the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommendations, nurse navigation, and education on lung cancer screening and smoking cessation.
If you are interested in taking a six-week course to curb your use of tobacco, contact Kathy Johnson, RRT, RCP, at (419) 526-8455. The program emphasizes group support, education, and motivation to eliminate barriers to stop tobacco use.
To get in touch with a cancer specialist who can answer your questions and help connect you to screening options close to home, contact OhioHealth CancerCall Monday-Friday, 8 AM-5 PM at (800) 752-9119.