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In recognition of National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Dignity Health Central Coast is urging community members to determine whether they are a candidate for our lung cancer screening program, which is now covered by most insurance providers. A lung cancer screening could be life-saving and proactive screenings can detect early signs of lung cancer, when treatment options have the greatest chance of success.
If an individual is deemed at risk, the option to meet with our oncology nurse navigators will be recommended and a low-dose computerized tomography scan of the chest, commonly called a CT or CAT scan, will be ordered. The screening, which only takes minutes to complete, produces detailed images of the lungs and other structures inside the chest. If any abnormalities are present, the scan will be reviewed by a dedicated multidisciplinary team of physicians that specialize in the treatment and diagnosis of lung cancer. Once reviewed, our physicians will discuss options for further evaluation and treatment with you and your primary care physician, if necessary.
Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the United States. While early stage survival rates are high, many lung cancer cases are detected in the later stages, when survival is approximately 3.9%. Early detection can save lives, and that is why Dignity Health Central Coast has developed this screening program for those deemed at high risk for the lung cancer.
“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women worldwide, however, it is the only cancer not subject to routine screening,” states Katherine Guthrie, Dignity Health Central Coast Regional Director of Cancer Services. “With our screening program, we can save the lives of patients at high risk for lung cancer through early detection. We want to emphasize the importance of early screening during the month of November, which is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, but also that this screening is important year round.”
Under the leadership of local physicians, the lung cancer screening program at Dignity Health Central Coast was created to diagnose patients at a treatable stage, before symptoms develop. For questions about the program, or to find out if you are a candidate, please call 805.346-3463.
Dignity Health Central Coast is comprised of five hospitals, all recognized for their quality of care, safety and service, primary care offices, premier ambulatory surgery centers, technologically advanced imaging centers, outpatient services and comprehensive home health services. Hospitals in the Dignity Health Central Coast region include Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo and St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard. Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to provide additional funding to support new programs and services, as well as to advance the community’s access to health care.
Sara San Juan