CT scan can reduce lung cancer mortality rate
Current and former heavy smokers — quit within the SDVW 15 yHDUV — hDvH D 20 percent less chance of dying from lung cancer by getting a low-dose screening CT scan that can show the early stages of the diseaseI according to a recent national study.
The scans — recommendHG IRU WhRVH DJH 55 WR 74 whR smoke or previously smoked DW OHDVW RQH SDFN D GDy IRU 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years and have no history of lung cancer — will be offered through a new iung Cancer Screening Program with follow-up provided by a Comprehensive iung Nodule janagement ProgramI both being launched Oct. P by Abington jemorial eospital.
jore people in the United States die from lung cancer than any other type of cancerI according to the Centers for Disease Control and PrevenWLRQ. AERXW 200,000 LQ WhH United States are diagnosed with lung cancer every yearI wLWh PRUH WhDQ 150,000 Gying from the disease.
oesults from the National iung Screening Trial show “clearI compelling evidence lung cancer screening is cost-effective and has an RvHUDOO hHDOWh EHQHfiW … D VXUvLvDO EHQHfiW IRU WhRVH 55 WR 74,” VDLG DU. 3DXO O’jooreI part of a team of radiologistsI pulmonologistsI thoracic surgeonsI radiation oncologistsI medical oncologists and primary care physicians who developed the Aje programs.
ThH VWXGy, LQ whLFh 53,000 current or former heavy smokers received either lowdose CT or standard chest urays examsI concluded that those who had three lowdose chest CT scans over a WhUHH-yHDU SHULRG hDG D 20 percent lower risk of dying from lung cancer than those who received the chest u-rays.
The screening and “onestop- shopping” approach lung nodule programs include the CT scanI speaking with a radiologist and working with a nurse navigator who will guide the patient through the process of having any abnormal fiQGLQJV WUHDWHG. BRWh wLOO be offered at the PbT scan facility at the hospital’s Blair jill ooad complexI said O’jooreI an interventional radiologist for O5 years who will be reading the scans and speaking with patients at the Willow Grove facility.
“WH wHUH fiQGLQJ WhDW D ORW of people have scans for other reasonsI” perhaps to rule out pneumonia for a coughI and sometimes the scan picks up nodules in the lungs and the patient doesn’t know what to doI O’joore said. “This xprogramz is a comprehensive and consistent solution to managing that.”
A CT scan “has a much greater sensitivity to small thingsI” he said. It can pick up a nodule 1 mm to O mm in sizeI while on a chest u-ray anything smaller than 5 or S mm is hard to seeI he said.
“By the time you can see xsome nodulesz on a chest u-rayI there’s a chance of it EHLQJ D VLJQLfiFDQW threat to healthI” O’joore said. “It xlung cancerz may be past stage 1 or O … DW VWDJHV 3 DQG 4 almost none are cured.”
ThH VSHFLfiF ORwdose technique being used for the scan does not have D VLJQLfiFDQW ULVN LQ causing secondary cancersI he said; “WhH EHQHfiW FOHDUOy outweighs any risk.”
The Aje programs will conform to the methods used in the studyI with patients having the scan three years in a rowI he said.
AERXW RQH LQ 20 VPRNHUV LQ WhH 55 WR 74 DJH JURXS have nodules in their lungsI O’joore saidI but “it may be the result of infection or scar tissue.” jonitoring the nodules “becomes a management burden” for a primary care physicianI he said.
“We tried to build a resource within the Abington hospital system to properlyI reliably and in a uniform way provide a thorough and consistent management schemeI” O’joore said.
Those whose scans show nodules would be advised to have a follow-up scan. IfI over a period of time there was no change in the noduleI it would probably be nothingI he said.
A PbT scan will show if something is growingI O’joore saidI and those with a nodule 4I SI or 8 mm — the size of a pea — or one that is changing would have a follow-up scan within three to 1O months.
“ThH SRLQW LV WR fiQG cancers when they can be curedI” he said. “If you wait for symptomsI the show’s over.”
At stage 1 or OI the size of a hazelnut or smallerI “there is a high likelihood of being completely cured of cancerI” O’joore said. “By pecan sizeI you’re on the bad side of the survival curve.”
Treatment can be surgery or a combination of radiationI chemotherapy and surgeryI he said.
The goal of the new programs is to have a coordinated team effort to treat the cancer as well as it can be treatedI he said.
“We’re trying to provide a cutting-edge comprehenVLvH VROXWLRQ … DQG EHQHfiW people at risk of developing lung cancerI” O’joore said.
“We want to catch it earlyI” he said. While the VFUHHQLQJ, whLFh FRVWV $350, is not yet covered by insuranceI he saidI “What else can yRX VSHQG $350 RQ WR ORwHU yRXU ULVN RI GyLQJ Ey 20 SHUcent?”
To Your Health Linda Finarelli