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Dignity Health Central Coast Recognizes November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month

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

CENTRAL COAST, CA – November 5, 2020 – 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 for both men and women 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. Although screening is not appropriate for everyone, current and former smokers over the age of 55 are at the greatest risk of developing lung cancer. If you meet these qualifications, talk to your physician about getting a lung cancer screening referral.

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 Senior 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 Cancer Care 
Dignity Health Cancer Care is a collaborative partnership between Mission Hope Cancer Center, Mission Hope Cancer Center, Arroyo Grande, the SLO Oncology & Hematology Health Center, Dignity Health Infusion Center of San Luis Obispo and the Hearst Cancer Resource Center at French Hospital Medical Center, offering comprehensive cancer care services to San Luis Obispo County residents. As a cohesive oncology treatment program, Dignity Health Cancer Care features innovative technological advancements and compassionate health care professionals from the nation’s top medical training programs. The culmination of these centers provides a personalized, multidisciplinary approach to oncology treatment, clinical trials, pediatric oncology, infusion services, support programs and resources to promote healing. For more information, visit:   

Publish date: 

Thursday, November 05, 2020