SMC Offers Healthy Lung Screening Program

(PUEBLO, COLO.) In an attempt to provide individuals with access to information and lung cancer detection, St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center is now offering a Healthy Lung Screening Program for those at a high risk of developing lung cancer.The program is based on guidelines from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and is designed to spot cancerous tumors as early as possible.

The program is suited for participants that meet certain criteria, and who do not currently have any signs or symptoms of lung cancer. Individuals must have had a history of tobacco smoking for at least 30 pack years (smoking one 20-cigarette pack per day for one year), must be between the ages of 55 to 77 years, and cannot have a history of other cancers.

As part of the Centura Health Cancer Network, the only accredited cancer network in the state, participants will be screened up to three times with a low dose CT scan. This consists of a combination of special X-ray equipment and sophisticated technology to produce multiple cross-sectional views of the lungs. This method produces highly-detailed images of slices of the lung and is far more sensitive in detecting abnormalities than a conventional chest X-ray. Studies suggest that lung cancers identified by CT scan had substantially better outcomes than those detected by standard means.

The healthy lung screening, just like mammography and colonoscopy, is an established cancer screening test that can sometimes find lung cancers at a treatable stage, said Sam Widdowson, BSN, MSN, FNP-BC, thoracic nurse navigator, St. Mary-Corwin. Evidence has shown that the majority of lung cancer patients who are cured of their disease are those patients found to have incidental early-stage lung tumors, and through this innovative Healthy Lung Screening Program, we can cure people that we otherwise might not have been able to cure.

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women. The probability that a man will be diagnosed with lung cancer in his lifetime is approximately one in 14, while the chances for women are one in 17. These statistics include smokers and non-smokers, but the highest risk lies with those who are former or current smokers. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that over 200,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed just this year. Further, two out of three individuals diagnosed with cancer are age 65 or older.

In addition, studies from the National Lung Cancer Institute illustrate that lung cancer mortality in specific high-risk groups could be reduced by such screening programs. This is due in part to the fact that the survival rate for stage one lung cancer is over 50 percent.

Prospective participants should consult with their insurance providers for detailed coverage information as well as their primary care physician. To speak with the thoracic nurse navigator at St. Mary-Corwin for more information, call 719-557-5466.


About St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center
St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center is nationally recognized for its award-winning programs in womens services, orthopedics, cancer, cardiology, stroke, trauma and emergency services. St. Mary-Corwins expert team of physicians, nurses and caregivers provide compassionate, quality patient care, with access to the latest in medical technology. St. Mary-Corwin is part of Centura Health, the regions leading health care network. For more information visitSt. Mary-Corwin Medical Center or follow us on Twitter@StMaryCorwinand onFacebook.

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