In the US, more people die from lung cancer than any other cancer combined. And most often symptoms are not present until the cancer has spread and progressed to late stage disease. Lung cancer screening shines hope on this deadly condition through early detection when the disease is most treatable and often curable. Data shows a 92% survival rate at 10-years when disease is found in the early stages versus a 15% survival rate at 5-years with late stage diagnosis. The team at The Medical Center Endoscopy, uses advanced, state-of-the-art technology, Veran’s SPiN Thoracic Navigation System™, in the fight against lung cancer offering patients improved diagnosis and treatment over traditional methods.
Current or past smokers are at high-risk for developing lung cancer. Other risk factors include second hand smoke, exposure to radon, asbestos, Agent Orange, or other substances, living in areas with high air pollution, and family history. Though anyone with a smoking history may be a candidate for lung cancer screening, a person between the ages of 55 and 80 who is a current or past smoker that quit within the last 15 years, has a 30 pack year history (calculated by multiplying packs per day times years as a smoker), and is symptom-free would be considered high-risk and may be recommended for annual lung cancer screening. And Medicare and most private insurance plans cover annual screening, with no out-of-pocket costs, for high-risk individuals.
Lung cancer screening is done with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scan which can identify small nodules or other abnormalities in the lungs. Patients lie still on a table which is moved through the scanner and the x-ray machine rotates around taking pictures from many different angles. The screening takes about 10 minutes and no medications, injections, or fasting are needed.
The lung cancer team at The Medical Center at Bowling Green Endoscopy uses the Veran SPiN Thoracic Navigation System™ during lung procedures should a suspect nodule be identified during the lung screening. This novel technology uses electromagnetic navigation (EMN), which is similar to the GPS in your car, to guide doctors to even the smallest, hard to access nodules resulting in earlier lung cancer detection. The system is minimally invasive and enables doctors to reach and biopsy small suspect nodules anywhere in the lung. This speeds time to diagnosis, without the need for multiple procedures, so life saving treatments don’t have to wait.
Talk with your health care provider to schedule a lung cancer screening. Don’t be scared, get screened.