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Muncie, IN: Lung cancer screenings offered to local resident


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Lung cancer screenings offered to local residents who qualify

5:27 PM, Nov 28, 2012

http://www.thestarpress.com/article/201 ... ck_check=1

Q What is our local lung cancer burden?

A. In a recent Community Health Needs Assessment, smoking and tobacco use were identified among the top 5 health concerns for our community. More than 20 percent of adults in Indiana smoke. In East Central Indiana, our current smoking rates are even higher. Smoking is identified as the biggest risk factor for lung cancer. In 2011, Indiana UniversityHealth Ball Memorial Cancer Center treated about 150 cases of lung cancer. Nearly 75 percent of those cases presented at stage 3 and 4 – meaning advanced disease.

Q. What is a lung cancer screening and why offer one now?

A. A lung cancer screening involves an assessment tool to determine eligibility and a CT scan of the lungs. It is a noninvasive procedure done in the radiology department at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital. We believe it is important to offer this screening because lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women not only in the United States, but here as well. Unfortunately lung cancer can be aggressive, and as a result it is not found until later stages when the cancer is much more difficult to treat. A lung cancer screening will hopefully allow us to find the cancer earlier, and achieve better outcomes. Recent national trials have shown a 20 percent reduction in mortality when long term smokers are screened for lung cancer with a lung CT scan.

Q. Who should be screened?

A. There are specific guidelines for who is eligible for lung cancer screening. These guidelines are set by the National Cancer Institute. All guidelines must be met to be eligible:

1. Between 55-74 years of age

2. Currently smoke or have quit in the last 15 years

3. Thirty pack year history of smoking (“pack year” is calculated by multiplying the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day by the number of years spent smoking)

4. Symptom free

5. No CT scan of the chest within the past year

If you are eligible, a screening involves a CT scan of your lungs and speaking with a healthcare professional about your lung cancer risk. The out-of-pocket expense is $49 to be paid at the time of screening.

If you are not eligible, we encourage you to speak with your primary care doctor about your lung cancer risk.

Q. What if I am interested in a lung cancer screening?

A. Again, you must meet all the requirements mentioned earlier. If so, call Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital at 751-2727 to schedule an appointment. You will be contacted by a navigator who will assist you through the screening process and accessing any follow up services that may be necessary.

All current smokers are encouraged to quit. Smokers can obtain assistance by contacting the Indiana Tobacco Quit Line at (800) Quit Now (800 -784-8669).

Joseph Spahr, MD,

is a Board Certified Hematologist/Medical Oncologist at Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Oncology Physicians. For more information, call 281-2030 or go to, iuhealth.org.

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