Wednesday, May 19
According to the American Cancer Association, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. If lung cancer is found early, when small and before it has spread, it is more likely to be successfully treated. The Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center (ECCC) is now offering a Lung Cancer Screening Clinic the third Monday of each month from 8 a.m. to noon. Eligible patients can schedule without a physician referral.
“Screening for lung cancer with low-dose CT scans can identify cancerous cells earlier and reduce lung cancer deaths by up to 20 percent or more,” said Molly Brumfield, RN, BSN, MBA, OCN, manager of medical and surgical programs at the ECCC. “We developed this clinic to allow a time for qualifying individuals to be screened without an initial physician referral.”
To qualify, patients must be 55 to 72 years old and be either an active smoker or a former smoker who has quit smoking within the past 15 years.
“It starts with a phone call to our nurse navigator,” Brumfield explained. “The navigator pre-screens for eligibility and schedules an appointment.”
According to Brumfield, the provider conducts a patient exam and provides smoking counseling, if applicable. The patient is then scheduled for a low-dose lung screening CT. Once complete, the provider follows up with the patient to go over the results and develop a plan of care.
“The most important step is to get screened early,” she said. “The symptoms of lung cancer often don’t appear until the disease is already at an advanced stage.”
Lung cancer screening is covered by Medicare and by many private health insurance plans. Your health care team can help you find out if your insurance will provide coverage. To find out if you are eligible for a lung cancer screening CT, please call 304.399.6770.