Lung Cancer Screening and Pulmonary Care Program from Mercy Health Can Give You Piece of Mind and Save Your Life

(CINCINNATI; January 23, 2014) – If you’ve ever smoked, you’ve probably wondered about the health of your lungs. Now you can take action that can give you peace of mind and maybe even save your life thanks to Mercy Health, which has launched a lung cancer screening and pulmonary program with locations throughout Cincinnati, including Anderson Township, Clermont, Fairfield, Kenwood, Mason, West Hospital and Winton Hills.

Physicians diagnose approximately 220,000 new cases of lung cancer each year and nearly 160,000 people die from the disease annually. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men and women and kills more people than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined. Tobacco use accounts for 87% of all lung cancer deaths in the U.S.

“Mercy Health wants to help change those grim statistics. In addition to offering smoking cessation classes and resources, our new lung cancer screening and pulmonary care program aligns with the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommendation that persons at risk for lung cancer receive low dose CT screening for early detection of lung cancer and prevention of lung cancer deaths,” says Mercy Health Physician David Dortin, DO.

If you’re between the ages of 55-79 years old and have smoked a pack a day (or more) for 30 years and either continue to smoke or have quit in the past 15 years, experts recommend you have a yearly lung cancer screening.

“Early detection of lung cancer can save your life,” says Dr. Dortin.

The lung screening program, which Mercy Health Physicians’ pulmonary and critical care specialists designed and implemented together with regional cancer care leader OHC (Oncology Hematology Care), can provide that early detection.

An eight-year National Lung Screening Trial conducted by the National Cancer Institute proved that low-dose CT Scans can help save the lives of people at high risk for lung cancer. The trial included more than 53,000 current and former heavy smokers age 55-74 and compared the effects of low-dose CT scans and standard chest X-ray on lung cancer mortality. The trial found 20% fewer lung cancer deaths among participants screened with low-dose CT. Low-dose CT-based lung cancer screening can be a key component in the early detection of lung cancer and through early detection, medical teams find 85% of cancers in their earliest, most curable stages.

If you are interested in a lung cancer screening, Mercy Health recommends that you first have a discussion with your physician to determine if a screening is appropriate for you. If you don’t have a Primary Care Physician, please call Mercy Health at 513-981-2222 for help in finding one.

Ask your physician to call Mercy Health at 95-MERCY (513-956-3729) to schedule a lung screening low-dose CT scan. The scan generally takes about 30 minutes. After your scan, Mercy Health will notify you and the ordering physician of the results.

A Mercy Health Nurse Navigator is available to assist you and your physician with follow-up appointments and education. The Nurse Navigator will work in conjunction with the ordering physician. If appropriate, the navigator can provide you with information about Mercy Health’s Pulmonary Services.

It is always a good idea to check with your carrier to determine if your insurance will cover the screening. If insurance won’t cover the screening, Mercy Health is committed to keeping costs down and making the process affordable. Your out-of-pocket cost is approximately $99, which includes testing and interpretation by a radiologist. You may be able to pay for this out of your Health Savings or Flexible Spending Account but check with your benefits administrator to be sure.