WINCHESTER — Valley Well being is providing free and low-cost lung most cancers screenings all month as a part of November’s Lung Most cancers Consciousness Month.
In previous years, Valley Well being has provided in the future in November when it might cost sufferers with out insurance coverage $90 for screenings. This 12 months, they’re charging $20 for screenings all through November.
Sufferers with insurance coverage, Medicare or Medicaid might get the screening totally free.
These eligible for a lung-cancer screening want to satisfy the next standards:
They’ve been smoking a pack a day for greater than 20 years (or two packs a day for 15 years)
They stop smoking inside the final 15 years
They’re between the ages of 55 and 80
Screening entails a low-dose CT scan and can happen in any respect six of Valley Well being’s regional hospitals. Sufferers can even get a session from a doctor and radiologist.
The objective of the screenings is to diagnose most cancers early sufficient to efficiently deal with it, however the screening remains to be comparatively new.
“Lung cancer screening is one of the newer kids on the block,” stated Dr. Daniel Hynes, a pulmonologist at Valley Well being’s Most cancers Heart on the campus of Winchester Medical Heart.
“While not prevalent, it does account for more cancer diagnoses than the other cancers,” he stated. “The earlier we catch it, the better.”
Solely broadly out there since 2013, the screenings are distinctive as a result of they’re the principle method that sufferers can be taught they’ve lung most cancers and nonetheless do something about it.
Not like with different sicknesses, lung most cancers sufferers don’t have a tendency to note any signs till they’re at a complicated stage, and by that time, therapy isn’t normally profitable.
The screenings alert sufferers to an issue typically years earlier than they’ll see any signs.
Thus far this 12 months, Valley Well being has carried out 1,609 low-dose CT scans and located 19 cancers, 10 of which have been stage 1, in line with Lindsey Temple, operations supervisor of the Valley Well being Most cancers Heart at Winchester Medical Heart.
Nationally, lung most cancers impacts 57.3 individuals out of each 100,000, in line with the state most cancers profiles reported at https://statecancerprofiles.cancer.gov.
Virginia studies an incidence of 54.8 per 100,000, whereas space localities vary from 46.4 in Clarke County to 75.1 in Warren County.
Elsewhere across the space, Frederick County studies an incidence of 58.4, Shenandoah County 61.9, Winchester 69.3 and Web page County 70.7.
West Virginia studies an incidence of 79 individuals with lung most cancers out of each 100,000 individuals.
Nonetheless, not many individuals know there’s a screening course of for lung most cancers, stated Dr. Shalini Reddy, a thoracic surgeon on the most cancers heart.
By far, the principle danger issue of getting lung most cancers is smoking, which they stated accounts for no less than 95% of native lung most cancers diagnoses. In addition to age and longtime smoking, radon poisoning, second-hand smoke, asbestos or different carcinogens and radiation remedy can even contribute to lung most cancers.
Although screenings give attention to sure high-risk sufferers, Reddy stated that different sufferers can be taught extra about their well being via a daily bodily with their major care doctor.
Anybody with shortness of breath can have medical assessments performed to find out the trigger, she stated.
The hospital’s Incidental Lung Nodule Program can even typically refer sufferers to Reddy and Hynes, they usually typically share data with different physicians on-site to get sufferers the perfect care they’ll.
To keep away from the chance of getting lung most cancers, Reddy and Hynes suggest not smoking, quitting as quickly as potential in the event you do smoke, not utilizing different tobacco merchandise and never vaping or utilizing e-cigarettes.
Although they stated vaping hasn’t been round lengthy sufficient for research to show a connection to lung most cancers, they stated that vaping has been proven to trigger lung harm, and really rapidly.
With the rise of vaping amongst younger individuals in 2018 and 2019, they stated that many sufferers have exhibited lung harm and or developed lung infections.
The issue, they stated, is the big variety of chemical compounds in vape juice that may hurt the lungs. Plus, Hynes stated, heating liquid to inhale into the lungs is rarely a good suggestion.
“The lung is a delicate organ,” Reddy stated.
Its objective is to take oxygen to the physique’s cells whereas eradicating and expelling carbon dioxide.
“This is one of the reasons why we live,” she stated.
To schedule a screening, name 540-536-LUNG (5864).