Adena Extends Free Lung Cancer Screening Program
Adena Health System leaders have extended its free lung cancer screening program through at least April 2014. The initial program for free scans was set to end on Dec. 31, 2013.
“Adena’s cancer screening project has been very, very successful,” said Adena Cancer Center’s Medical Director, Dr. Jeffrey VanDeusen. “Compared to programs that charge a fee for lung cancer screening, Adena is far exceeding larger facilities in the number of patients receiving this life-saving screen. There is no doubt that by offering the scan for free, we are reaching the people who need this screen the most.”
According to the Ohio Department of Health, one-in-four of those living in Ross County are smokers. By the end of December, more than 250 people will have come to Adena for a free lung cancer screening.
“Keeping lung cancer screenings free for our patients eliminates the decision a patient often has to make between paying for living expenses or their health,” said Dr. John Fortney, Adena’s Chief Medical Officer. “By extending our free lung cancer screening program, more patients will now have access to this life-saving scan, and a better chance of survival if cancer is found.”
Lung cancer screening is a simple, painless, low dose CT chest scan. Patients who benefit most from lung cancer screening are: between the ages of 55-74; still smoking or quit smoking fewer than 15 years ago; and have 30 “pack years” of smoking in their recent or distant past. A “pack year” is calculated by taking the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day and multiplying it by the number of years the person smoked. Therefore, a two-pack a day smoker, who smoked for 15 years is considered a 30-pack year smoker and should be tested. With early screening and detection, those in the screening population who are without symptoms, have a lung cancer survival rate of up to 80 percent.
“The key to the scan is to have it done every year, like a mammogram,” added Dr. VanDeusen. That’s the important thing – for the patient to realize this is an ongoing thing. All patients who have been scanned will be reminded next year that it’s time to have their annual scan.”
Anyone interested in having a free lung cancer screening may call (740) 542-LUNG (5864).