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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lung Screening Works To Fight Cancer

Troy Moritz, DO,
Thoracic Surgeon
at PinnacleHealth
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for American men and women. While this statistic is alarming, lung cancer can be treatable when detected early. And the best way to do this is by getting a lung screening.

Studies have shown that the five-year lung cancer survival rate increases by nearly 40 percent when it is diagnosed early, before it spreads beyond the lungs. “Using the latest technology and techniques, PinnacleHealth offers expert and convenient screenings for people who are at risk for getting lung cancer. Getting screened early can improve your chances of living longer if you are diagnosed with lung cancer,” said Dr. Troy Moritz, director of PinnacleHealth’s Lung Cancer Screening Program.

PinnacleHealth’s screening program has been designated as a Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance, one of the only ones in Central Pennsylvania.

Lung cancer screening is recommended for individuals who:

  • Are ages 55 - 80 and have smoked the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes daily for 30 years.
  • Are ages 50 – 80, have smoked the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes daily for 20 years and have one additional risk factor.

Additional risk factors include radon exposure, asbestos exposure, a history of cancer, a strong family history of lung cancer, significant second-hand smoke exposure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or pulmonary fibrosis.

“Because lung cancer often does not cause symptoms in its early stages, it is really important that you get screened early on if you have one of these risk factors.” said Dr. Moritz.

Screening typically includes a low-dose CT (CAT) scan, which may be covered by insurance. Because screenings have proven so effective in finding and treating early-stage lung cancer, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced plans to begin covering lung cancer screenings for high-risk Medicare recipients.

“If you or a loved one meet the high-risk criteria, contact us today,” said Dr. Moritz. “Don’t wait.”

To find out more about lung cancer screening at PinnacleHealth, contact the Pulmonary Nodule Clinic at (717) 230-3700 or toll-free at (866) 455-9729 and ask to speak to a screening specialist.

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