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St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center’s lung cancer screening program can help those seeking a lung cancer diagnosis before symptoms develop. The medical center is an American College of Radiology designated lung cancer screening facility.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death-more than cancers of the breast, prostate, colon and pancreas combined. A study conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) showed that screening people at high risk for lung cancer with low dose computed tomography (CT) scans reduced lung cancer deaths by 20%. Another study estimates that early lung cancer diagnosis and treatment could save over 70,000 lives a year in the United States.
Lung cancer screening is not appropriate for everyone. Current and former smokers over the age of 55 are at greatest risk for developing lung cancer. An important consideration for screening is whether the level of individual risk is high enough for screening to be of benefit. Our physicians or your primary care doctor can discuss the benefits and risks of screening to determine what is best for you.
A computerized tomography scan, commonly called CT or a CAT scan, produces detailed images of a person’s body. Part of the lung cancer screening program includes a low dose CT scan of your chest. The radiation from a low dose CT scan is lower than that which you would receive from a normal CT scan of the chest.
At St. Joseph’s, each abnormal finding is reviewed by a dedicated multidisciplinary team. After review, our physicians will discuss the lung cancer diagnosis screening results with you and the best options for treatment or further evaluation.
CT scans may pick up other findings that may help you and your doctor, for example: emphysema, infections, or calcification of the coronary arteries. We will notify both you and your doctor of any abnormal findings.
The most important thing that you can do to decrease your risk of lung cancer is to stop smoking. Following a healthy diet and getting regular exercise are also very important. Please talk to your doctor for more information. If you need help with quitting smoking, please contact the Arizona Smokers’ Helpline at www.ashline.org or call 1.800.556.6222 for tips, counseling and a free plan for quitting smoking.
For more information on the lung cancer screening program or to schedule an appointment, call 602.406.4551.