Free Lung Cancer Screenings At North Shore Hospitals
Beverly Hospital in Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester are offering free, low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) lung cancer screenings to qualified high-risk patients the whole month of November for Lung Cancer Awareness Month. The screening programs are modeled after Lahey Hospital & Medical Center’s program, which was the first hospital in New England and one of the only medical centers in the nation offering the life-saving screening to high-risk patients (and it still does).
Lung cancer kills more Americans annually than breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers combined. According to the National Lung Screening Trial, LDCT lung screenings could prevent at least one in five lung cancer deaths in a high-risk population and could save 12,000 lives every year.
“Qualified high risk” means that you must meet the criteria in one of these two categories:
You are between 55 and 74 years old.
Are currently a smoker or have quit within the past 15 years.
Have smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day for 30+ years.
You are between 50 and 74 years old.
Have smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day for 20+ years.
Have one additional lung cancer risk factor (not to include secondhand smoke exposure).
“This innovative screening program will allow us to detect lung cancer early, create an effective treatment plan and increase our patients’ likelihood of surviving cancer,” says Dr. Fares Mouchantaf, pulmonologist at Beverly and Addison Gilbert hospitals, and Lahey Hospital & Medical Center.
Lahey Hospital & Medical Center began its free LDCT lung screening program in January 2012, and initial results were published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology in April 2013. The hospital has screened more than 1,600 patients since the program began. Patients will be given the test free of charge, regardless of their insurance status, geographic residence, or primary care affiliation. But patients will be required to obtain a doctor’s order before being screened.
“The expansion of our free lung screening program will save lives on the North Shore and open the doors to equal access to care for qualifying high-risk individuals,” said Denis Conroy, Chief Executive Officer of Beverly and Addison Gilbert hospitals in a press release.