Oakwood embraces new techniques to prevent cancer deaths

A new screening method being used in the Oakwood Healthcare System is designed to help reduce the mortality rate associated with lung cancer.

The use of low-dose lung CT Scans to diagnose potential early cases of the disease was recently recognized and approved, following a National Lung Screening Trial that was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and supported by the American Lung Association.

“This would allow us to effectively screen, diagnose and potentially treat lung cancer cases that might otherwise go undetected in early stages—prior to symptoms,” said Dr. John Finger, an Oakwood-affiliated radiologist. He, Dr. Salik Jahania, Dr. John Hilu and Dr. Lyle Victor are the multi-disciplinary team that took part in the trial and now approve the practice.

Lung cancer tumors diagnosed through traditional chest x-rays are typically large, and found only when a patient presents symptoms of the disease. The National Lung Screen Trial showed that spiral cat scans can detect potential tumors when they’re the size of a grain of rice, making them much easier to treat.

The American Lung Association identifies lung cancer as among the leading causes of death in both men and women in the United States. The increase in lung cancer has been directly linked to smoking, may be responsible for up to 80–90 percent of lung cancer cases. Current or former smokers between 55 and 74 years of age who have a smoking history of at least 30 pack-years—for example, one pack a day for 30 years, or two packs a day for 15 years—are in the group at highest risk for lung cancer should be screened for it.

Oakwood has nine comprehensive imaging centers equipped with the latest in160-slice and 64-slice scanners, all designed to provide the clearest digital images at the lowest radiation doses possible.

“Historically, there has been no proven method for screening patients for lung cancer,” said Dr. Jahania. “This will provide us with the ability to safely and effectively diagnose this condition before it becomes a severe health issue, while it’s easier and less costly to treat.”

Currently most insurance companies do not cover this screening, however Oakwood offers this painless and non-invasive testing for $329
. To schedule an appointment, call 800.543.WELL.