The Washington Times-Herald

November 13, 2013

DCH partners with St. Mary's for lung cancer screenings


The Washington Times-Herald

---- — Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of breast, prostate and colon cancers combined. In 84 percent of lung cancers diagnosed, the disease has already spread.

Daviess Community Hospital is pleased to announce a new collaboration with St. Mary’s Health to improve early diagnosis of lung cancer. Through this partnership, lung cancer screenings will be performed at Daviess Community Hospital, and patients with significant findings will receive further testing and evaluation with the pulmonary specialists at St. Mary’s Lung Nodule Clinic. Specialists in pulmonary medicine, thoracic (chest) surgery, medical oncology and radiology from both hospitals will coordinate care to treat cancer quickly and accurately – working together to save lives.

What is Lung Cancer Screening?

Lung Cancer Screening is a way to identify lung cancer in its early stages when it is more likely to be treated successfully. Daviess Community Hospital screening offers the latest low-dose computed tomography technology, also known as a CT scan, to help detect lung cancer as early as possible in current or former smokers.

The National Lung Screening Trial, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, showed 20 percent fewer deaths from lung cancer in patients who had low dose CT screening compared to those who had only a chest X-ray. This is because small lung nodules were discovered early, which offers the best chance of finding lung cancer in its most curable stages.

The CT scan produces multiple images or pictures of the lungs. These images are far more detailed than a conventional chest X-ray. A low-dose CT does not require injections, advance preparation or fasting. It is painless and only takes about 30 minutes.

Who Should Have Lung Cancer Screening?

If you are between the ages of 55 and 74 and have been a heavy smoker, you should talk to your doctor about lung cancer screening.

Heavy smoking is defined as:

• Current or former smoker who quit less than

15 years ago

• 30 pack/year or more smoking history (1 pack a day for 30 years, 2 packs a day for 15 years, etc.).

If you do not meet these criteria but still have concerns, please contact your primary care doctor.

Where Can I Have the Screening?

Screenings are done in radiology at 1314 E Walnut St. in Washington. A doctor’s referral is required. Ask your primary care doctor about a referral for a lung cancer screening.

What Happens After the Screening?

Your primary care doctor will let you know the results of your screening. A “negative” result means you have no abnormal findings at this time. It does not mean you do not have lung cancer or that you will never get lung cancer.

A “suspicious” result means the CT scan shows something is abnormal.

This could mean lung cancer, but it could also indicate some other condition or be non-cancerous and benign. You may need to have additional procedures and testing to determine what the abnormal finding means.

Together Daviess Community Hospital and St. Mary’s are dedicated to the improvement of survival statistics in lung cancer patients.

For more information about this service, contact Daviess Community Hospital at 254-8851 or to schedule a screening, contact your primary care physician.