ELIZABETH, NJ - Trinitas Regional Medical Center will now offer a lung cancer screening program that will help identify lung cancer in its early stages. For those who are eligible to participate, the lung screening program begins with a low-dose non-invasive CT scan that takes about 30 seconds to complete. From there, the test is reviewed by a board certified radiologist, a report is written and the results are sent to the individual’s doctor. For those whose test results are "positive," they will be assigned to work with a patient navigator who will assist and guide the participant through any additional testing or appointments.
“The new lung screening program provides an extra step in patient care that helps guide them through the process with the assistance of a patient navigator,” explained Gary S. Horan, President & CEO, FACHE. “This screening could potentially save lives and we encourage qualifying patients to take advantage of this program.”
According to Horan, more people die of lung cancer than breast, colon and prostate cancers added together, making early detection critical. Major research centers show survival rates improving from 15% to 80% with new CT protocols offered by programs such as the one at Trinitas. With CT, small tumors, which are not visible on conventional chest x-rays, can be seen at an earlier, more curable stage.
For concerns regarding radiation, the CT screening does require the use of radiation to take images of the lungs, however, the amount of radiation used during the CT Screening is low and about a quarter of the dose of a regular CT of the chest.
The program is recommended for those who are between the ages of 55-77, have a smoking history of 30 “pack years” or more and are current smokers or have quit in the past 15 years. Lung cancer screening is covered by Medicare and some insurance plans. Potential participants should contact their physician for an appointment to determine if they qualify for the program.
For more information, contact Trinitas at 908-994-5051 or visit the website at www.TrinitasRMC.org.