Skip to Main Content

Dignity Health Central Coast Hospitals Recognize November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Posted in:
November serves as gentle reminder to detect lung cancer at its earliest stage, often before symptoms develop

CENTRAL COAST, CA – November 1, 2018 – Arroyo Grande Community Hospital (AGCH), French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) and Marian Regional Medical Center (MRMC), which are Dignity Health Central Coast hospitals, are pleased to offer a proactive lung cancer screening program to those with a high risk of developing lung cancer, the number one cancer killer in the Unites States.   

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.

Early stage survival rates are high, however 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 a screening program for those deemed at high risk for the lung cancer.  

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 leading cause of cancer death for both men and women worldwide, however, it is the only cancer not subject to routine screening,” says 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.”

For additional information about the screening guidelines, Mission Hope Cancer Center will be holding an informative session on Wednesday, November 14, at 5:30 p.m. at 1325 East Church Street in Santa Maria. Zach Reagle, DO, and Carol Lowe, RN, OCN, will discuss new lung cancer screening guidelines for former smokers, the increasing incidence of lung cancer in non-smokers, and the latest approaches to lung cancer treatments. You can download the PDF here.

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
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. For more information, visit:

About Marian Regional Medical Center
Marian Regional Medical Center is a technologically advanced, 191-bed facility that provides safe, quality care.  Marian has been a recipient of the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence and was also named among the Top 10% in the Nation for Critical Care by Healthgrades. Marian is designated a STEMI Receiving Center in Santa Barbara County, and is designated a Level III Trauma Center by Santa Barbara County’s Emergency Medical Services Agency. The facility has achieved prestigious designation as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission for advanced, comprehensive care for stroke patients. Our cancer care program is accredited as a Comprehensive Community Cancer Center by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer, and is one of only three programs between Los Angeles and San Francisco to receive an Outstanding Achievement Award. The campus houses a comprehensive perinatology/ neonatology program, providing specialized care to the tiniest of patients. Marian is a member of Dignity Health Central Coast, which also includes Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, CA, French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, CA, St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, CA, and St. John’s Pleasant Valley in Camarillo, CA. Dignity Health Central Coast is an integrated network of top quality hospitals, physicians from the most prestigious medical schools, and comprehensive outpatient services, including primary care offices, premier surgery centers, technologically-advanced laboratories, imaging centers and a full service home health agency; all recognized for quality, safety and service.  



Publish date: 

Thursday, November 01, 2018