By Shelley Farrington Lincoln News • November 9, 2023
MILLINOCKET – Early detection is one of the best ways to improve lung cancer survival.
That fact is important because lung cancer is currently the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. In an effort to increase education and the number of screenings Millinocket Regional Hospital (MRH) is participating in National Lung Cancer Screening Day on Nov. 11.
Hal Cote, director of ancillary services at MRH said the goal is to increase screening access and awareness for eligible people.
“Because National Lung Cancer Screening Day is being held on Veterans Day this year, we especially want to encourage and assist our veterans who are eligible in getting screened,” Cote said. “According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), you are eligible for LDCT screening if: you are between 50 and 80 years old; currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years and; have a 20-pack-year history of tobacco smoking. If you think you or someone you love may be eligible for a LDCT scan for lung cancer, please contact your healthcare provider and schedule an appointment to talk about the pros and cons of LDCT screening!”
Cote said There have been great improvements on how to detect lung cancer early. The American Cancer Society has estimated that screening with Low Dose CT (LDCT) scans could save between 30,000 and 60,000 lives in the U.S. each year.
He went on to say that LDCT scans are totally painless, non-invasive, and better than a standard chest X-ray at finding lung cancer early. They work the same way a regular- CT scan but with much less radiation.
“Patients can even wear street clothes into the machine,” Cote said. “Despite all of these benefits, uptake in LDCT screening has been slow – especially compared to other kinds of annual cancer screenings (like mammograms or colonoscopies).”
For more information on lung cancer screening, please contact: Cote, at MRH, at (207) 723-7251; Deb Violette of Free ME from Lung Cancer at (207) 215-9035 or email@example.com; or Neil Korsen, MD, MS, Chair, Maine Lung Cancer Coalition at firstname.lastname@example.org
A pack-year is smoking an average of one pack of cigarettes per day for one year. For example, a person could have a 20-pack-year history of smoking one pack a day for 20 years or two packs a day for 10 years. Smoking habits change over time and ask you to consider how much you smoked on average when you estimate your pack-years.