A new screening program at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth aims to catch more deadly lung cancers earlier, when lifesaving treatments have the greatest chance for success.
The hospital is the only designated Lung Cancer Screening Center in Fort Worth recognized by the American College of Radiology for commitment to practicing safe, effective diagnostic care for those at high-risk for lung cancer, according to a news release.
Patients are screened using low-dose computerized tomography, which helps detect lung cancer at an earlier and more treatable stage compared to the standard chest X-ray, according to the National Cancer Institute. That earlier detection can lower the risk of dying by 20%, according to the institute.
“Lung cancer symptoms usually don’t appear until the disease is well advanced, and in many cases of early diagnosis it was caught when the patient was undergoing imaging tests for something unrelated,” Cristy LePori, MSN, RN, OCN, lung cancer nurse navigator at Texas Health Fort Worth said in the release. “This program helps give patients at high risk for lung cancer a better chance at surviving a very deadly disease.”
Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in the U.S., according to the American Lung Association. Only 15% of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at an early stage, when treatments have the greatest chance for effectiveness, according to the American Lung Association.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends yearly lung cancer screening for adults 55-80 years old, with a 30-pack per year smoking history, and who currently smoke or have quit within the last 15 years, according to the release.
On Feb. 5, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Medicare now covers yearly low-dose CT lung cancer screening for Medicare beneficiaries ages 55-77, and are either current smokers or have quit smoking within the last 15 years, have a history of smoking at least 30 packs per year and have a written order from a physician or qualified non-physician practitioner that meets certain requirements.
For more information, please visit www.TexasHealth.org/FW-Lung.