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Alexian Brothers Lung Scan Saving Lives

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Tuesday March 14, 4:13 pm ET

- Free Scan Incentive Announced -

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., March 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Linda, a suburban Chicago mother of three, began smoking when she was 16 years old. Now 42, she recently quit, and was concerned about how much damage she might have done to her lungs by smoking for the last 25 years. Her doctor referred her to Alexian Brothers Hospital Network's new Alexian Lung Scan program, which uses state- of-the art CT imaging technology to help detect lung cancer at an early stage when it is most treatable.


Linda's scan revealed a "highly suspicious" early stage lesion that was "small in size and potentially curable," says Edward Diamond, M.D., an Alexian Brothers Hospital Network pulmonologist. Her decision to undergo the scan "could be life-saving," he says. Linda was among the first people referred to Alexian Brothers for lung scans, which the Arlington Heights, Illinois-based hospital network began offering late last year as part of an overarching strategy to make the latest disease scanning technology available to the 1.5 million residents of Chicago's northwest suburbs.

Linda's story is just one of many that has thrust women's lung cancer risks into the national spotlight - taking more lives than breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer combined. Between 1960 and 1990, the number of women diagnosed with lung cancer jumped 400 percent, and nearly 80,000 women will die from the disease this year alone. The stunning lung cancer death of Dana Reeve, a non-smoker, has brought additional focus on the rising instances of the killer disease among those who have never smoked.

"Women seem especially vulnerable to the disease, with 20 per cent of all female lung cancer victims being non-smokers," according to Diamond. Among the general population, about 10 per cent of all lung cancer patients have never used tobacco.

The Alexian Lung Scan is offering hope in the battle against this stealth killer, usually identified only in its later stages because many people do not display symptoms earlier. The lung scan, which only takes 20 seconds, is a more detailed test than a simple X-ray, and much more sensitive in terms of finding early lung cancer in a curable state.

The scanning technology detects the presence of tiny irregularities or nodules that are too small to be seen in a conventional X-ray. Modeled after Cornell University's and Johns Hopkins Medical Center's national clinical trial programs, the Alexian lung scan program combines advanced CT scanners with the R2 ImageChecker, a sophisticated image-interpretation tool that can identify tiny lesions that are difficult to spot with the naked eye.

"Alexian has taken the stance of being an early adopter of this new technology because we believe in its efficacy, and we believe that patients will be found with cancer at an early stage when it can be cured," Diamond says. "No one can argue with the fact that five-year survival rates soar in cases where lung cancer is detected at an early stage."

As an extra incentive Alexian Brothers Hospital Network has announced that it will give away a free lung scan to the first 100 people who complete an Alexian smoking cessation program. Alexian offers several stop-smoking classes, including one modeled after the highly successful Mayo Clinic program.

To qualify for a lung scan, a patient must be 40 or older and have a significant risk factor, such as smoking heavily for 10 years, significant exposure to second-hand smoke, significant exposure to asbestos or radon, or a significant family history of lung cancer. For more information about the Alexian Lung Scan, or the Alexian smoking cessation programs, please call 1-866-ALEXIAN.

Source: Alexian Brothers Hospital Network

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