When Adena began its free Lung Cancer Screening program in November 2013, no one knew the impact it would have on the lives of people in our community. The program provides free CT scans for people at high risk for the disease; and in its first six months has screened more than 350 patients. Of those tested, five cases of lung cancer have been confirmed, with several more suspicious legions undergoing work-up.
“By offering scans for free, Adena is making sure anyone who may be in a high risk category has access to this life-saving test,” said Dr. Jeffrey VanDeusen, Adena Cancer Center’s Medical Director. “Looking at other programs in the country, we knew we would have the greatest impact if our program was offered at no cost. Programs that charge for screens generally see a fraction of the patients of those offering them for free.”
People in the high-risk target patient population are: between 55-74 years old; have 30 or more “pack years” of smoking in their past (a pack year = 1 pack a day for 30 years, 2 packs a day for 15 years, 3 packs a day for 10 years, etc.); a current smoker or have quit smoking within the past 15 years.
The screening is a non-invasive, CT scan which can easily identify tumors or lesions that may need medical attention. In addition to confirming or disproving the possibility of lung cancer, the test has found heart aneurysms, liver nodules, lung disease and even a diagnosis of breast cancer in patients tested at Adena. Like a mammogram, patients are recommended to have a screen each year for the greatest chance of survival in the case of a lung cancer diagnosis.
Adena’s Lung Cancer Screening Program has been designated a “Screening Center of Excellence” by the nation’s leading lung cancer advocacy group. The Lung Cancer Alliance designates Centers of Excellence to identify the places a patient can go for a lung cancer screening that will offer them well-coordinated care and disease management.
Patients meeting the screening criteria should schedule a free lung cancer screening by calling (740) 542-LUNG (5864). Learn more about the Adena Cancer Center.