Beaumont Health System Offers Lung Cancer Screening
More people die of lung cancer each year in the United States than any other type of cancer, yet when it’s caught early, there are more treatment options and higher survival rates.
Beaumont Health System recently launched a Lung Cancer Screening program designed for early diagnosis of various lung cancers using computed tomography imaging.
A CT scan is a diagnostic test that uses X-ray beams, which are a form of radiation similar to light or radio waves, to create cross-sectional images horizontally and vertically of the body. CT scans are very detailed and can help physicians diagnose many conditions that may not be easily diagnosed with other imaging methods.
“Lung cancer is the No. 1 cause of cancer deaths in America, claiming more lives than colorectal, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancer combined,” says K.P. Ravikrishnan, M.D., chair, Pulmonary and Critical Care, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. “Without early detection, more than 85 percent of lung cancer patients eventually die from their lung cancer, usually within a few years after they are diagnosed.”
Patients who meet guidelines developed by the National Lung Screening Trial and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network who are considered high-risk for lung cancer may benefit from low-dose CT screening to detect early lung cancer. These people include:
- individuals 55 years of age and older who are current or former smokers with a history of at least 30 “pack years” of smoking (one “pack year” is equal to the number of packs smoked a day times the number of years of smoking)
- individuals 50 years of age and older (current or former smokers), with a history of at least 30 “pack years” of smoking with one additional risk factor, such as:
- radon exposure
- occupational exposure to silica, cadmium, asbestos, arsenic, beryllium, chromium, diesel fumes and/or nickel
- cancer history, including lung cancer, lymphomas, cancers of the head and neck, and smoking-related cancers such as esophageal cancer
- family history of lung cancer, history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or interstitial pulmonary fibrosis
A 2011 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (National Lung Screening Trial) found a 20 percent reduction in mortality among high-risk individuals who were screened with a low-dose CT versus a control group screened with a traditional chest X-ray. Annual screening with CT scans can find lung cancers in their earliest stage, when up to 90 percent can be cured.
CT screening for lung cancer detection is not currently covered by insurance and eligible patients must be referred by a physician.
“At Beaumont Health System, we know that radiation exposure is a concern for patients and physicians,” says Duane Mezwa M.D., professor and health system chair, Diagnostic Radiology and Molecular Imaging. “We offer the most advanced CT imaging available and follow stringent radiation safety principles. We are proud to be a leader in reducing radiation exposure while maintaining the highest quality of images through our research and technology.”
For more information, visit cancer.beaumont.edu/lung-cancer-screening or call 800-328-8542 to schedule a screening appointment.
About Beaumont Cancer Care
Beaumont’s comprehensive cancer program combines the expertise of surgical, medical and radiation oncologists to offer cancer prevention counseling, diagnosis and treatment in hospital and community-based settings. The Beaumont Cancer Institute is one of only 47 Community Clinical Oncology Programs in the country designated by the National Cancer Institute to provide patients with access to leading-edge cancer clinical research trials. Beaumont is designated as a Blue Cross Center of Distinction for the Treatment of Rare and Complex Cancers. Beaumont, Royal Oak and Troy are recognized by U.S. News & World Report as “high performing” hospitals for cancer care.