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Lung Cancer Screening

Northern Regional Hospital has been designated a Lung Cancer Screening Center by the American College of Radiology (ACR)

A lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scans, and appropriate follow-up care, significantly reduces lung cancer deaths. In December 2013, the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended screening of adults aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Lung cancer is the nation’s leading cancer killer – taking the lives of more people each year than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.

The ACR Lung Cancer Screening Center designation is a voluntary program that recognizes facilities that have committed to practice safe, effective diagnostic care for individuals at the highest risk for lung cancer. In order to receive this elite distinction, facilities must be accredited by the ACR in computed tomography (CT) in the chest module, as well as undergo a rigorous assessment of its lung cancer screening protocol and infrastructure. Also required are procedures in place for follow-up patient care, such as counseling and smoking cessation programs.

According to the American Lung Association, the five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 54 percent for cases detected when the diseases is still only within the lungs. However, only 15 percent of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at an early stage. Smoking contributes to 80 percent of lung cancer deaths in women and 90 percent in men.

A lung cancer screening CT scan can be ordered by your primary care physician. To qualify for the screening, certain criteria must be met by the patient. Individuals must be between the ages of 55 and 74, be a current or former smoker who has quit in the last 15 years, have a 30-pack a year smoking history (a pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years), or a 20-pack a year smoking history with certain risk factors such as asbestos exposure or family history of lung cancer.

For more information about the screening, individuals are encouraged to speak with their primary care physician. To have the test performed you will need a referral from your healthcare provider.