Newswise — November is national Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Lung cancer remains the #1 cancer killer of both men and women in the United States. Nearly 225,000 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year. Almost 143,000 will die from lung cancer this year -- more than a quarter of all cancer deaths in the U.S. More women will die from lung cancer than from breast cancer.
“Lung cancer can be very aggressive,” said Federico Cerrone, MD, medical director, Atlantic Health System Lung Cancer Screening Program. “Generally, the earlier we catch lung cancer, the more likely we will be able to cure it. The technology we use in our screening program is more effective at detecting lung cancer than older imaging modalities.”
The Atlantic Health System lung cancer test uses low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) that only takes a few minutes to complete and may identify lung cancer at earlier, more curable stages. When compared to chest X-rays used in early detection, the LDCT screening reduces lung cancer deaths in high-risk individuals by 20 percent. The screening test is covered by Medicare and most commercial insurance (a written referral is required).
“The beauty of low-dose lung screening is that it’s simple and effective,” said Dr. Cerrone. Atlantic Health System conducts more than 150 screenings per month and approximately 2% of screenings show early findings of lung cancer, similar to LDCT screening results nationwide.
The exam takes less than 10 minutes once the person is inside the CT scanner.
The screening program is open to:
- Those between the ages of 55 and 77;
- Current smokers or those who have quit within the last 15 years;
- Individuals with at least a 30 packs/year tobacco history (packs per day times years smoking);
- People with no history of lung cancer.
Atlantic Health System offers convenient scheduling at all locations.
All screening participants receive a letter explaining their results and recommended follow up care, and their health care providers receive a formal interpretation from a board-certified radiologist. A Lung Screening Nurse Navigator is available to answer questions about screening results, and can also provide referrals to pulmonologists.
Other Atlantic Health System lung health programs include:
- Community Quit Smoking Program – Led by certified tobacco treatment specialists
- Better Breathers Club – Support group and educational program
- Pulmonary Rehabilitation – Run by respiratory therapists, this program helps individuals with breathing difficulties increase their strength and stamina and improve quality of life.
For more information on the Lung Cancer Screening Program, visit https://www.atlantichealth.org/conditions-treatments/pulmonary-services/lung-cancer-screening-program.html or call 1-844-228-5864.
About Atlantic Health System Cancer Care
Atlantic Health System Cancer Care offers an unparalleled network of cancer specialists and resources for more than 6000 patients annually through its flagship Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown and Overlook medical centers, as well as its comprehensive oncology programs at Chilton, Hackettstown and Newton medical centers. Atlantic Health System Cancer Care is the lead affiliate of Atlantic Health Cancer Consortium (AHCC) - the only New Jersey-based National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). The NCORP develops and implements NCI cancer prevention, screening, care delivery, and treatment studies with leading healthcare systems across the state. With more than 250 cancer specialists, all five hospitals and Atlantic Medical Group are designated Blue Cross Blue Shield ‘Blue Distinction Centers’ and have been recognized nationally for the role in advancing the fight against cancer. Morristown, Overlook, Chilton and Newton medical centers earned the coveted American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer Outstanding Achievement Award and earned Three-Year Approval with Commendation. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Atlantic Health System hospitals as high performing in colon cancer surgery, lung cancer surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, and pulmonology. Atlantic Health System Cancer Care is affiliated with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) of Phoenix, Arizona, and together they have launched the Breakthrough Oncology Accelerator, a pioneering research and clinical collaboration designed to improve patient access to the most innovative and sophisticated therapies for cancer.
About Atlantic Health System
Atlantic Health System, headquartered in Morristown, N.J., is an integrated health care delivery system powered by a workforce of more than 16,500 team members and 4,800 affiliated physicians dedicated to building healthier communities. The system serves a population of 5 million, with more than 400 sites of care, including six hospitals: Morristown Medical Center, Overlook Medical Center, Newton Medical Center, Chilton Medical Center, Hackettstown Medical Center and Goryeb Children’s Hospital.
In addition to the employed workforce, Atlantic Alliance, a Clinically Integrated Network represents more than 2,500 health care providers throughout northern and central NJ. This network includes 1,000 physicians and providers within the Atlantic Medical Group, as well as members of the Atlantic Accountable Care Organization and Optimus Healthcare Partners which work to enhance patient care delivery.
Atlantic Health System provides care for the full continuum of health care needs including 11 urgent care centers, Atlantic Rehabilitation and Atlantic Home Care and Hospice. Facilitating the connection between these services on both land and air is the transportation fleet of Atlantic Mobile Health.
Atlantic Health System leads the Healthcare Transformation Consortium, a partnership of seven regional hospitals and health systems dedicated to improving access and affordability and is a founding member of both the PIER Consortium – Partners in Innovation, Education, and Research – a streamlined clinical trial system that will expand access to groundbreaking research across six health systems in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and AllSpire Health Partners, a consortium of five leading health care organizations dedicated to serving patients, families and communities in New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania.