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64-Slice CT Wages High-Tech Battle Against Lung Cancer


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Sacramento HeartScan highlights early detection during Lung Cancer AwarenessMonthSACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Lung cancer is the leadingcause of cancer deaths in the U.S. among both men and women. Some of thenewest technology available for the early detection and treatment of lungcancer is the new 64-slice the GE LightSpeed VCT scanner available atSacramento HeartScan.

Dennis R. Breen, M.D., F.A.C.C., of the Sacramento Heart and VascularInstitute, which operates Sacramento HeartScan, said that there's a lot ofdebate surrounding screening of the general population. However, when it comesto high risk populations such as smokers and former smokers, the advanced 64slice CT could hold the key to finally improving detection and survival ratesfor lung cancer.

"Lung cancer is the poster child for why screening in high riskpopulations is important and necessary," said Breen. "We know from publishedclinical trials that by screening all smokers, for example, cure rates can beas high as 95 percent, but lung cancer is still the only major cancer forwhich screening is not encouraged, even among those at high risk."

Patients are typically only referred for CT lung scans if they havesymptoms indicative of possible cancer, and The American Cancer Society iscurrently neutral on its guidance for precautionary lung cancer screening.Because lung cancer is rarely found in its early stages, Breen explained it'sa much more difficult type of cancer to treat. That's why many patients chooseto pay out-of-pocket for the screening procedure.

"Wait-and-see is obviously a losing strategy with lung cancer, and manypeople instinctively know what so many medical professionals also know: theearlier you find cancer, the more options you have when it comes to treatingit," according to Breen.

Even though the U.S. has some of the highest survival rates in the worldrelated to lung cancer compared to other cancers, Breen pointed out thatdetection and cure rates are dismal. He noted that in the last 30 years, thefive-year lung cancer survival rate has only increased from about six percentto around 15 percent.

Recent evidence points to the value of screening high-risk populations. Inthe largest study of its kind so far, the Early Lung Cancer Action Programrecently screened more than 30,000 smokers, former smokers and people exposedto second-hand smoke. Researchers discovered that lung cancer caught at anearly stage by CT screening could be cured at a remarkably high rate. Theresults were reported in the October 2006 issue of the New England Journal ofMedicine.

Breen believes that as more evidence is reviewed, the mainstream medicalcommunity will gradually move toward screening of asymptomatic, at-riskpatients. Until then, Sacramento area residents concerned about their lungsbut unable to obtain a referral from their physician can choose to payout-of-pocket for a CT Lung Screening. The cost is about $275.00.

The 64-slice CT scanner recently acquired by Sacramento HeartScan, theGE LightSpeed VCT, is the first of its kind available to patients in theSacramento region. The 64-slice scanners are the fastest CT scanners on themarket. For more information about CT lung screenings, contact SacramentoHeartScan at 916-830-2009 or visit http://www.sacheart.com/ct/heartscan.html.

About Sacramento HeartScanSacramento HeartScan is part of the Sacramento Heart Center, the area'spremier integrated cardiac facility, providing complete cardiology andwellness care plus a full range of diagnostic and laboratory services.Sacramento HeartScan is one of a limited number of cardiovascular centers inthe United States using the LightSpeed VCT 64-slice scanner for detection ofdisease. Sacramento HeartScan recently purchased the 64-slice CT scanner,replacing the 16-slice CT scanner, which can uncover early stages of disorderssuch as: heart disease, lung disease and certain cancers. Sacramento Heart& Vascular Medical Associates, developers of the Sacramento Heart Center, isaffiliated with most health care systems in Sacramento. For more informationor to make an appointment, visit http://www.sacheart.com/ct/heartscan.html orcall 916-830-2009.SOURCE Sacramento HeartScanDan Snyders of Armada Medical Marketing, +1-303-623-1190, ext. 230,dan@armadamedical.com, for Sacramento HeartScan

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