Holy Family Hospital in Methuen and Haverhill now provide advanced lung cancer screenings for adult patients who are current or former smokers, and considered at high risk for developing lung cancer.
The new screening method, called Low-Dose CT, uses state-of-the-art computed tomography (CT) to look for signs of lung cancer before there are symptoms. Low-Dose CT takes detailed pictures of the lungs to detect potentially treatable lung cancers that are often too small to be detected with an x-ray. When lung cancer is detected at an early stage, success rates for treating the disease are much higher.
“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. More people die from lung cancer than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. The goal of Low-Dose CT lung cancer screening is to detect lung cancer early, when it is small and the most treatable – even curable,” says Pulmonologist Samy Sidhom, MD, medical director of Holy Family Hospital’s Center for Advanced Thoracic and Pulmonary Care, adding that the best way to reduce the risk of developing lung cancer is to stop smoking because it is more effective than tests or interventions.
Annual lung cancer screening with Low-Dose CT, has been proven to reduce the chances of dying from lung cancer by 20 percent. Nationally, it has been determined that Low-Dose CT lung cancer screening should be offered annually to adults who:
● are between the ages of 55-77
● have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer
● are current smokers or have quit smoking within the past 15 years, and have a tobacco smoking history of 30+ pack years
Pack years are determined by the number of years a patient has smoked, multiplied by the number of cigarettes smoked per day. One pack contains 20 cigarettes. For example, if you have smoked for 30 years, and you have smoked 20 cigarettes per day (one full pack), that is 30 pack years.
“By proactively catching lung cancer early, before it becomes invasive or spreads, we are helping to improve the lives of our patients and their families. We are pleased to be able to offer this advanced screening to the community,” says Holy Family Hospital President Craig Jesiolowski.
Before scheduling a Low-Dose CT lung cancer screening, patients should talk with their primary care physician or pulmonologist about whether the test would be beneficial. To schedule a Low-Dose CT lung cancer screening, please call (978) 722-3800 for the Methuen campus, which is located at 70 East Street, or (978) 521-8121 for the Haverhill campus, located at 140 Lincoln Avenue.