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Lung cancer CT screening proves to be an effective tool for detecting tumors



Saint Mary’s Center for Cancer recognizes the importance of detecting cancer early and now offers a highly-effective, low-dose computed tomography (CT) screening for lung cancer. The new scan is a safe and effective screening method for those at-risk of developing lung cancer. Based on a clinical trial by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), CT screenings reduce the number of lung cancer deaths by twenty percent compared to traditional chest X-rays.

Lung cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, followed by heart disease, and a majority of lung cancer deaths occur in those who smoke or have recently quit smoking. Additionally, lung cancer is known to spread quickly, leaving few treatment options if not detected in its early stages. Researched by the NCI, CT scans are the best method to detect tumors and can also identify other health conditions such as emphysema.

“Identifying lung cancer in its earliest stages saves lives and keeps those at risk healthy, long-term,” said Don Moore, nurse practitioner navigator at Saint Mary’s Center for Cancer. “It’s important for the community to know what resources are available and our new CT screening is a powerful tool that can quickly detect abnormalities in the lungs.”

Ideal candidates for the lung cancer CT screening include those aged 55-74 years old with a cigarette smoking history of at least 30 pack-years (one pack per day for a full year), and former smokers who have quit within the past 15 years. It is also important to understand the screening does not prevent lung cancer; rather it helps detect tumors much faster than traditional methods.

“I highly encourage those at-risk for developing lung cancer talk with their physician about whether the screening is a good option for them. Patients can also be assured the scan is noninvasive, painless and uses a low-dose of radiation,” said Moore.

Saint Mary’s lung cancer CT screening requires a physician order and costs $199, which includes the CT exam and radiologist interpretation fees. To learn more about this screening option, call 770-7775.

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About Saint Mary’s Center for Cancer

Saint Mary’s Center for Cancer (SMCC) is an accredited Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Program by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The Center serves as a leader in cancer research, patient care, survivorship and professional and public education. Home to the most advanced technology, SMCC offers the region’s only CyberKnife, a non-invasive radiation delivery system that offers pinpoint accuracy when treating tumors. In Dec. 2010, SMCC received accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, becoming the first accredited breast program in the state. For more information about Saint Mary’s Center for Cancer please call (775) 770-7410.

About Saint Mary’s

Saint Mary’s Network is a fully-integrated, faith-based health system in Reno, Nev. founded in 1908 by the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael. The network is comprised of Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center, an acute-care hospital, providing inpatient, outpatient and wellness services; Saint Mary’s Health Plans, a statewide insurance provider with more than 40,000 members; and Saint Mary’s Medical Group, a network of physicians and other health professionals offering primary and urgent care, retail clinics and specialty healthcare. A member of Catholic Healthcare West, Saint Mary’s is dedicated to meeting the healthcare needs of our community. For more information, visit our website at www.saintmarysreno.org.

About Catholic Healthcare West

Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), headquartered in San Francisco, CA, is a system of 40 hospitals and medical centers in California, Arizona, and Nevada. Founded in 1986, it is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health care systems and the largest private hospital system in California. CHW is committed to delivering compassionate, high-quality, affordable health care services with special attention to the poor and underserved. The CHW network of nearly 10,000 physicians and approximately 54,000 employees provides health care services to more than five million people annually. In 2010, CHW provided more than $1.3 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unreimbursed patient care. For more information, please visit our website at www.chwHEALTH.org.

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