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MCCG Announces Lung Cancer Screening Program

MCCG Announces Lung Cancer Screening Program

Early Detection Can Help Save Lives 

MACON, GA (Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011) – More central Georgians die each year from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. That’s why accurate, early detection is important. As Lung Cancer Awareness Month begins, The Cancer Life Center and Central Georgia Diagnostics, services of The Medical Center of Central Georgia (MCCG), announce a lung cancer screening program for high-risk patients. Screening Lung CT Scans are now available for smokers and former smokers between 50 and 74 years of age.

“Lung cancer is a leading cause of mortality, among malignancies, and screening CTs represent a shift in the paradigm of how we can proactively manage high-risk patients,” MCCG Chair of The Lung Disease Site Team Dr. Bruce T. Burns said. “Screening should enable us to detect, hopefully, more early-stage cancers which are often curable; therefore, leading to an improvement in mortality from lung cancer.

A major study of more than 50,000 current and former heavy smokers, called the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), compared lung CT scans and chest x-rays, and found that getting a lung CT scan reduced the risk of dying from lung cancer by 20.3 percent. The NLST was conducted by the National Cancer Institute; findings were released in November 201

Persons in the demographic of these suggested screenings should discuss with their physician a written referral for the Screening Lung CT Scan. For a referral form, interested persons should call (478) 633-9111. The screening fee is $150 and payable at time of service. No insurance is filed.

Results of the lung CT scan will be sent to the referring physician. If there is an abnormal finding, s/he will follow up. MCCG will also provide the physician with information about its comprehensive lung cancer resources. They include:

  • A multidisciplinary lung disease site team that meets twice monthly to discuss management of lung cancer cases; physicians on the team include pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and clinical research nurses
  • State-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, including superDimension® Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy system (ENB) and Endobronchial ultrasound (EBus)
  • Lung nurse navigator
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Smoking cessation

 Medical groups, including the American Cancer Society, do not yet recommend lung cancer screening to smokers and former smokers because all NLST study details have not been released for careful review by physicians and scientists beyond those who conducted the trial. Therefore, Medicare and most insurance companies do not cover screening for lung cancer at this time.

Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the United States, taking over 163,000 lives this year and being diagnosed in over 172,000. It takes more lives than breast, prostate, colon, liver and kidney diseases combined. Seventy percent of new lung cancer cases will be diagnosed at late stage, with only a 15 percent five-year survival rate.


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