Dignity Health St. John’s Regional Cancer Center recognizes November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month

St. John’s Regional Cancer Center (SJRCC) is pleased to offer a proactive lung cancer screening program to those with a high risk of developing lung cancer, the number one most dangerous cancer for both men and women in the United States.

In recognition of National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, SJRCC is urging community members to determine whether they are a candidate for our lung cancer screening program, which is now covered by most insurance providers. Although screening is not appropriate for everyone, current and former smokers over the age of 55 are at the greatest risk of developing lung cancer. If you meet these qualifications, talk to your physician about getting a lung cancer screening referral.

An individual deemed at risk has the option to meet with our oncology nurse navigator, who will facilitate a low-dose computerized tomography scan of the chest, commonly called a CT or CAT scan. The screening, which only takes minutes to complete, produces detailed images of the lungs and other structures inside the chest.

If any abnormalities are present, the scan will be reviewed by a dedicated multidisciplinary team of physicians that specialize in the treatment and diagnosis of lung cancer. Once reviewed, our physicians will discuss options for further evaluation and treatment with you and your primary care physician, if necessary.

Early-stage survival rates are high; however, many small cell lung cancer (SCLC), which accounts for 10% to 15% of all lung cancer cases, are detected in the distant stage when it has spread to parts of the body, such as the brain, bones, liver, or the other lung, with a survival rate of 3%. Early detection can save lives, and that is why SJRCC has developed a screening program for those deemed at high risk for lung cancer.

A lung cancer screening could be life-saving and proactive screenings can detect early signs of lung cancer, when treatment options have the greatest chance of success. Under the leadership of local physicians, the lung cancer screening program at SJRCC was created to diagnose patients at a treatable stage, before symptoms develop. For questions about the program, or to find out if you are a candidate, please call (805) 988-2641.

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