COOKEVILLE – Cookeville Regional Medical Center has launched a new program to help detect lung cancer in its highest risk patients.
Of the top four deadliest cancers in the U.S. – lung, prostate, breast and colorectal – lung cancer is the only one not subject to routine screening. In an effort to provide access for those at high risk for developing lung cancer, the hospital is now offering low-dose CT (or CAT) scan lung screenings.
“Studies have shown that low-dose CT lung screenings can lower the risk of death from lung cancer by 20 percent in people who are at high risk,” said Beth Slatten, R.N., lung nurse navigator at CRMC. “Without screening, lung cancer is usually not found until a person develops symptoms. At that time, the cancer is much harder to treat.”
The screening is quick and easy and results in a minimal amount of radiation exposure. The exam takes less than 10 seconds; no medications are given and no needles are used. The cost is $99.
“I hope that people who meet the criteria and are at high risk will take advantage of this screening,” Slatten added. “It is so important to catch it early.”
To qualify for a lung screening at CRMC, you need to fall into one of the following two categories:
- Between 55 and 74 years old;
- Currently a smoker or have quit within the past 15 years; and
- Have smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day for 30-plus years.
- Between 50 and 74 years old;
- Have smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day for 20-plus years; and
- Have one additional lung cancer risk factor (previous cancers, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, a family history of lung cancer, or exposure to asbestos, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, diesel fumes, nickel, radon, silica or uranium).
If you think you meet the criteria, call the (931) 783-4996 for more information.