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Bennett Cancer Center

Lung Cancer Screening Program


Introduction

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer related deaths in both men and women. It is estimated that in 2011 156,900 deaths occurred from lung cancer in the United States.  Most lung cancers are not diagnosed until a patient presents with symptoms such as a cough, chest pain or weight loss.  Unfortunately in most cases, patients with these symptoms already have an advanced stage of the disease.  When a lung cancer is detected early, patients have the best chance for cure.

The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), a recent study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute has shown that low dose CT screening for lung cancer in high risk individuals can reduce mortality rates by up to 20% due to early detection.

 

Who should consider screening?

  • Individuals aged 55-74 who are current or former smokers having quit within the past 15 years and have smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day for 30+ years.

OR

  • Individuals aged 50 or older who have smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day for 20+ years and have one additional lung cancer risk factor* (not to include secondhand smoke exposure).

*Risk factors include:

  • Family history of lung cancer
  • Personal past history of cancer
  • COPD, chronic bronchitis, emphysema or pulmonary fibrosis
  • Exposure to certain substances including asbestos, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, diesel fumes, nickel, radon, silica and uranium.
  • Significant exposure to secondhand smoke

What else should I consider in my decision to be screened?

CT scans are very sensitive tests that can identify abnormalities in the lungs that are not cancer. These findings in some cases will need to be evaluated with additional testing or procedures which may cause anxiety. 

In lung cancer screening, individuals are only exposed to approximately one-fifth of the radiation of a full-dose chest CT scan. To know if lung cancer screening is right for you, consider discussing the risks and benefits with your physician

How do I schedule a screening?

Call 203-276-2602 to schedule a screening exam. You will need a prescription from your physician for the test to be scheduled.


Where will I be screened?

Currently we provide these screening tests at the following locations:

  • Darien Imaging Center located at 6 Thorndal Circle, Darien CT 06820
  • Tully Health Center 32 Strawberry Hill Court Stamford CT 06904


What happens next?

Our team of Board Certified Radiologists will review your scan and a report will be sent to your physician. At the same time you will receive a phone call and a letter in the mail outlining any recommendations for follow up if needed.

At this time an annual low dose CT scan is recommended for 3 consecutive years in high risk individuals.

Even if your CT scan is normal stopping smoking is the best way to decrease your chance of developing lung cancer. Please contact Melissa Ronk, RN at 203-276-CARE (2273) to find out about smoking cessation programs and for further information about lung CT screening.


 


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