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Vidant Health launches lung cancer screening program to detect cancer in earliest stages

December 01, 2014 posted by Amy Holcombe

Vidant Health launched a new lung screening procedure which has the potential to detect lung cancer at earlier stages, when it’s easiest to cure. Lung cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer in both men and women and it’s also the leading cause of cancer death in the country. 

A recent national study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that lung cancer screening with low-dose CT (LDCT) scans compared to chest X-Ray was better able to detect early stage cancer allowing for earlier treatment. Earlier treatment intervention reduced lung cancer deaths among high risk individuals. 

“A cure for lung cancer has traditionally been viewed difficult to achieve by many,” said Dr. Mark Bowling, Director of Interventional Pulmonology, ECU Brody School of Medicine. “However, technology coupled with the aggressive multidisciplinary approach utilized by the Thoracic Oncology Program, under the direction of Dr. Paul Walker at Leo Jenkins Cancer Center, is challenging this perception.” 

Individuals at high risk for developing lung cancer can participate in the Vidant Health lung cancer screening program at any of Vidant’s eight hospitals. LDCT is one of the easiest screening exams you can have. The exam takes less than 10 minutes. No medications are given, and no needles are used.

Early diagnosis and treatment is critical due to the poor prognosis at advanced stages of the disease. The use of LDCT scanning to screen high risk patients for lung cancer will result in a number of patients being diagnosed with pulmonary nodules. Although most of these nodules are benign, some can be cancerous. Electronic Navigation Bronchoscopy (ENB) is a cutting edge technology available at Vidant Medical Center that can lead to early diagnosis and benefit these patients. 

The ENB is similar to your car’s GPS. It provides the physician with a three-dimensional roadmap of the lungs and facilitates access to hard to reach regions of the lungs so suspicious nodules can be evaluated. Vidant Medical Center is one of only two hospitals in eastern North Carolina with ENB, and one of a few hospitals in the nation that utilize the new V-7 software in their navigation systems. It is one of only two sites in the world running two ENB systems equipped with this advanced software. 

Vidant Health continues to work diligently to fulfill our mission “To enhance the quality of life for the people and communities we serve, touch and support” in our region.

If you are a current or former smoker between the ages of 55 and 74 with at least a 30 pack year smoking history (packs per day x number of years smoked), or between the ages of 50-74 years of age with at least a 20 pack year smoking history and one additional risk factor (family history of lung cancer, exposure to asbestos, radon or other known cancer-causing chemicals), you could qualify for a low-dose CT scan. 

The fee for this procedure is $250 at any Vidant Health hospital. To make an appointment for a low-dose CT scan, call toll free 800-472-8500.
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