November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and in response to this growing epidemic, Cancer Care Services of Porter Regional Hospital will be increasing awareness of its CT Lung Cancer Screening program to promote the early detection of lung cancer.
“For years, we did not have a lung cancer screening program. Now, we have an effective tool for early detection to offer patients who are at high risk to develop lung cancer,” said Cardiothoracic Surgeon Walid Khabbaz, M.D., chair of the Lung Cancer Screening Program. “Porter’s CT Lung Cancer Screening Program relies on a multidisciplinary team of physicians, patient navigator and staff to help move patients through the process based on the outcomes of their screenings. We could not do this without this multidisciplinary model of care.”
Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, responsible for more deaths annually than breast, prostate and colorectal cancers combined, and is second only to heart disease in cause of annual deaths. According to research, early detection increases a person’s chances of survival. CT scans are an easy and painless way to help detect lung cancer at an early stage, when it is most treatable. Those who meet the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) criteria are eligible for the screening at Porter Regional Hospital.
“Since the launch of the program in January of this year, we are consistently diagnosing lung cancer at a higher rate than the national average,” said Teresa Langley, service line director for Porter’s Cancer Care Services. “This confirms that early detection and screenings are beneficial in helping find cancer at the earliest stage possible.”
Porter Regional Hospital recently received the designation of Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance for its commitment to improving lung cancer detection and care. The certification was awarded after the launch of the Lung Cancer Screening Program and recognizes the efforts of Porter’s Lung Multidisciplinary Team who meets regularly to improve lung cancer patient management and expedite care. The hospital was also named a Lung Cancer Screening Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology after a vigorous evaluation process which determined it had achieved nationally-accepted practice standards and meets the highest level of imaging quality and radiation safety.
The NCCN criteria is divided into two categories: High-risk Category 1 does not require a physician referral and includes those who are ages 55 to 74, have smoked a pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years and have quit smoking less than 15 years ago. High-risk Category 2 requires a physician referral and includes those who are age 50 and older, have smoked a pack a day for 20 or more years and have one additional risk factor other than second-hand smoke. Candidates cannot have signs or symptoms of lung cancer to qualify for the lung cancer screening.
The cost of the screening is $75 and available in Valparaiso and Portage. To schedule your CT lung cancer screening, call 219-983-8399.
Porter Health Care System has two hospital campuses and seven outpatient facilities serving Porter, Lake, LaPorte, Starke, Newton, Marshall and Jasper counties. With more than 350 physicians representing 50 medical specialties on the medical staff, Porter Health Care System is committed to medical excellence and personalized, patient-centered care.