Ingalls Recognized for Early Lung Cancer Screenings

Lung cancer kills more Americans every year than any other type of cancer, including breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. Why? It’s nearly impossible to detect until the disease is advanced.

For nearly a decade, Ingalls cancer experts have been working diligently to increase survival through Lungs for Life, an innovative screening program that uses spiral CT scanning to detect lung cancer at its earliest stages, when it is most curable.

Recently, Ingalls was recognized for its efforts by achieving a Lung Cancer Screening Center designation by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The designation recognizes facilities that have committed to practice safe, effective diagnostic care for individuals at the highest risk for lung cancer.

Lungs for Life screenings are available at the hospital and the Family Care Centers in Calumet City, Flossmoor and Tinley Park. Eligible participants undergo a screening spirometry along with a low-dose, 16-slice spiral CT that can scan the entire chest in 15-25 seconds with a sensitivity to detect tumors as small as a grain of rice.

“Research has shown that low-dose screening CT applied to the proper group of at-risk patients saves lives,” said Daniel Vandenberg, M.D., internal medicine specialist. “I have referred many patients who meet the screening criteria for the screening. But the best way to prevent lung cancer caused by tobacco use is to never start or to quit. Quitting now will reduce your chances not only of lung problems, but also of heart disease and many forms of cancer.”

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services both recommends and covers the cost of the lung screening for adults who meet specific criteria:

  • Must be between the ages of 55 and 77 years old.
  • Must be asymptomatic (don’t have signs or symptoms of lung cancer).
  • Must be a current smoker or have quit smoking within the last 15 years.
  • Must have a tobacco smoking history of at least 30 “pack years” (an average of one pack a day for 30 years).
  • Must obtain a written order from their physician or qualified non-physician practitioner.

For more information, call 708.915.LUNG.

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