NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Southcoast Health announced today that it has discovered seven individuals with lung cancer through the Southcoast Lung Screening Program which launched in March of 2016.
Of those seven cases, six were caught in the early stages and have been treated with good results. To date, more than 250 patients are currently being monitored in the Lung Screening Program. The age of those in the program has been as young as 55 and as old as 73.
In addition to cancer, the screenings have found other abnormalities that have required further testing, including thyroid nodules, thoracic aortic aneurysms, emphysema and liver nodules.
The Southcoast Lung Screening Program offers low-dose CT scans to people who are at high risk for developing lung cancer. The goal of the program is to find signs of lung cancer before symptoms appear.
According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Yet, of the four most common cancers — lung, prostate, breast and colon — it is the only without a widely adopted preventive screening test.
To qualify for Southcoast Health’s Lung Screening Program, a patient must meet the following criteria:
· Age 55 to 77
· Smoking history of greater than 30 pack years (number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day multiplied by the number of years smoked)
· If ex-smoker, quit within the last 15 years
· No personal history of previous lung cancer
In addition to Medicare and Medicaid, this screening is covered by most insurances. Prospective patients should call the program or insurance company to confirm coverage.
For more information, contact the Lung Screening Program by calling 855-259-LUNG(5864) or visit southcoast.org/lungscreening.