Riverside Health System Regional Medical Center is offering early detection screenings to help catch cases of Lung Cancer earlier and save more lives. All Riverside Health System hospitals and diagnostic centers now offer low-dose CT screening for patients who have risk factors and may be at risk of developing lung cancer.
Typically, chest X-rays are used to diagnose patients who already exhibit signs of cancer, but often the disease is at an advanced staged when it’s detected. The new early detection screenings are beneficial to high-risk patients before symptoms develop.
Candidates for lung screenings include people who meet the following criteria:
- current or former smoker
- AND in the age group from 55 to 74 years
- AND with a smoking history of at least 30 pack-years (this means 1 pack a day for 30 years, 2 packs a day for 15 years, etc.)
Others, who have smoked less, but have additional risk factors, are also offered the screenings. The risk for lung cancer is different for each person, and patients should talk to their doctor about individual concerns.
The screening itself takes just a few seconds. Patients will be asked to briefly hold their breath to capture the most accurate images. Afterward, patients will meet with a specialist to review the results of the screening.
If a patient’s results are negative, it is recommended to be screened again each year for the next two years and to quit smoking. A positive screening means that additional follow-up or further testing is needed to determine if the patient has lung cancer or another problem.
Lung cancer is the most common fatal cancer in adults, but it’s treatable if it’s caught early. Screenings help to identify lung cancer early, when it’s most treatable.
Screening, however, is not a substitute for quitting smoking. The most effective way anyone can reduce their risk of lung cancer is to avoid tobacco. Riverside offers Smokeless®, a program to help people quit smoking on the Peninsula. For information and help to quit smoking, call Holly Hicks at (757) 875-7533.
These low dose screenings are available at Riverside facilities in Newport News, Hampton, Smithfield, Williamsburg, Gloucester, Nassawadox and Tappahannock.
To learn more about early detection lung cancer screenings or to schedule an appointment, visit the Riverside Website or call Riverside’s lung cancer patient navigator at (757) 534-LUNG.