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http://www.wpahs.org/news/11-5-2012/avh ... ng-program

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Natrona Heights, Pa., - Allegheny Valley Hospital (AVH) announced today the launch of a new lung cancer screening program designed to promote early disease detection among high-risk individuals and improve their outcomes. The screening process includes a low-dose CT scan to detect lung cancer in its early stages when there are typically no associated symptoms.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 250,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year in the U.S. and more than 160,000 people die annually from the disease.

The vast majority of patients with lung cancer is diagnosed in advanced stages of the disease and is significantly less likely to be treated successfully. A recent clinical trial conducted by the American College of Radiology Imaging Network and the National Cancer Institute Division of Cancer Prevention however, demonstrated that screening current, and former heavy smokers for lung cancer using low-dose computed tomography (CT) imaging scans reduced their risk of dying from the disease by 20 percent.

“Studies have shown that people diagnosed with Stage 1 lung cancer and treated appropriately have a ten year survival of close to 90 percent. The challenge, however, is getting that critical early diagnosis. That is the goal of our program – to improve survival from this difficult disease by targeting those individuals at elevated risk with an effective screening tool,” said Youssef M. Arshoun, MD, radiation oncologist at AVH.

According to Dr. Arshoun individuals may be considered high-risk for lung cancer if they are:

a current or former smoker;

and in the age group from 55-74 years old with a smoking history of at least 30 pack-years (1 pack a day for 30 years or 2 packs a day for 15 years).

Low-dose CT imaging uses less than one fourth of the radiation of a regular diagnostic CT scan. The scan is completed during a single breath hold of five to ten seconds and does not require an intravenous contrast injection. A board-certified radiologist at AVH will interpret the test results and the results will be shared with the patient and his or her family physician.

At the present time, health insurers do not cover lung cancer screening CT exams. Those interested in being screened at AVH should expect to pay a fee of approximately $200 out-of-pocket at the time of the service.

For more information about the lung cancer screening program at AVH, please contact AVH Radiological Imaging at 724.224.1840.

For more information, contact:

Linda Dalak

Allegheny Valley Hospital



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