Lung Cancer Screening Program
Lung cancer screening is more than just a CT. Eisenhower is a National Leader in Lung Cancer Screening. Experience matters.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States for both men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. This is because the disease shows no symptoms until it has progressed to advanced stages when it is very difficult to treat. The good news is that advances in imaging have made it possible to detect lung cancer early on, when treatment can be highly successful.
The Eisenhower Lung Cancer Screening Program evaluates current and former smokers to determine their risk for lung cancer and provides assessment and evaluation for persons at risk for lung cancer. Appointments are available in-person and via TeleMed. In many cases insurance will cover this evaluation.
Early Detection with a Low Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) Scan Saves Lives
In November 2010, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) released results from a National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) confirmed that the best method to detect early lung cancer is achieved through low-dose CT scanning.
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- If you are high-risk, it can save your life — annual LDCT screenings can find lung cancers or lung nodules in their earliest stages, when up to 92 percent of them can be treated successfully (New England Journal of Medicine 2006: 355: 1763-1771).
- The LDCT scan can also detect old or new pneumonia, tuberculosis, cardiac disease and emphysema.
Screenings are tests that look for diseases before you have symptoms. Screenings can find diseases early, when they are easier to treat. Most people who develop lung cancer (more than 8 in 10) get it from smoking, If you currently smoke, the best way to lower your risk of lung cancer is to quit.
Persons are considered high-risk for lung cancer if:
- You are between 50 and 80years of age, and
- You have a history of heavy smoking. An example of heavy smoking is smoking 1 pack (or more) of cigarettes a day for 20 years – or 2 packs a day for 10 years.
- You smoke now – or you quit within the last 15 years
Note: You are not eligible for LDCT if you have symptoms of lung cancer or have had lung cancer.
- Your doctor may suggest that you get screened once a year with LDCT (low-dose computed tomography). LDCT takes pictures of your lungs, which can help find lung cancer early – when it may be easier to treat.
- Discuss with your primary care physician if you qualify for Lung Cancer Screening Program or call 760-837-8880 for more information.
Eisenhower Health is a designated "Screening Center of Excellence" by the Go2 Foundation. We are committed to offering responsible screening and care.
The Eisenhower Imaging Center earned American College of Radiology (ACR) Lung Cancer Screening Center designation in August 2014.
Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center participated in the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program which has been pioneering research leadership in detecting early lung cancers for more than 20 years.
- With more than a decade of experience, our team has unrivaled experience and expertise in lung cancer screening. The team of lung cancer detection specialists at Eisenhower Health has been doing low dose CT screening for lung cancer since 2003.
- Patients screened for lung cancer at Eisenhower are followed with a proven screening regimen starting with a low-dose CT scan, which minimizes unnecessary additional testing and invasive procedures.
- Positive findings are reviewed by a multidisciplinary team of professionals which includes board certified physicians in pulmonology, interventional pulmonology, thoracic surgery, radiology, interventional radiology, medical oncology and pathology, nurse practitioners and cancer research.
- Eisenhower Health was one of only two centers in California to participate in the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program, a lung cancer screening study for smokers and former smokers and FAMRI/I-ELCAP, a low dose CT screening study for never smokers exposed to secondhand smoke
- Before your appointment you will be interviewed by the lung cancer screening staff to determine your eligibility for LDCT
- Your LDCT lung cancer screening will only take about 15 minutes. A low-dose, non-invasive form of CT scan is used that does not require drinking contrast fluid.
- The results of your low dose LDCT lung screening will be sent to the provider at the Lung Cancer Screening Program. The lung cancer screening team will review your LDCT and discuss finding and recommendations with you in the clinic or vial telemedicine.
You will be able to view your results with the staff. Results will be available to you on your Eisenhower MyChart account.
Lung Cancer is the Leading Cause of Cancer Death in America
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States for both men and women (source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2010). This is because the disease shows no symptoms until it has progressed to advanced stages when it is very difficult to treat; but it doesn’t have to be this way. Advances in imaging have made it possible to detect lung cancer early on, when treatment can be highly successful.
United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Recommends Lung Cancer Screening
On July 29, 2013, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended annual low-dose computed tomographic (CT) lung screening for high-risk individuals. This recommendation is significant because of possible future screening coverage by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers - encouraging news for those who are insured and at high risk for developing lung cancer. Without screening and intervention, individuals who develop lung cancer have only a 15 percent five-year survival rate. The USPSTF based its recommendation on research published in 2012 by the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), and a newly created clinical practice guideline for lung cancer screening for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN).
In November 2010, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) released results from a National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) that confirm what members of the International Lung Cancer Action Program, such as Eisenhower, have known for quite some time: the best method to detect early lung cancer is achieved through low-dose CT scanning. In fact, the NCI found the NLST evidence favoring Low Dose CT scans over traditional x-rays in reducing deaths from lung cancer so compelling that they concluded the study early.
This study confirms groundbreaking research conducted by the founder of the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program (I-ELCAP), Claudia Henschke, PhD, MD, a Professor of Radiology and physician at Mount Sinai in New York. Dr. Henschke published in Lancet in 1999 and in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006, showing that annual screening with CT scans can find 85 percent of lung cancers in their earliest, most treatable, stages by detecting tiny spots, called "nodules," on the lungs.
At Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center, Research Is Core to Our Mission. Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center has been utilizing low dose CT (LDCT) lung screening for people at risk for lung cancer in a research setting since 2003 through our participation in the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program (I-ELCAP). I-ELCAP is an international, collaborative group consisting of experts on lung cancer and related issues from around the world. The group’s mission is to achieve early diagnosis, treatment, and ultimate cure of lung cancer through the rapid dissemination and advancement of research among a diversified, collaborative network.
By pooling the data collected under the I-ELCAP protocol from the many national and international member institutions, I-ELCAP was able to show, in several 2006 publications that:
- lung cancers diagnosed under screening were typically small, including small-cell cell carcinomas, and,
- the estimated cure rate of patients whose lung cancer was diagnosed under screening. After long-term follow-up of 31,456 asymptomatic participants, 484 of whom had lung cancer diagnosed under CT screening of which 414 (86%) had clinical Stage I disease, the estimated overall cure rate for the 484 patients diagnosed under CT screening was 80% (95% CI: 74% - 85%).
With these and other publications, I-ELCAP has remained at the forefront of screening research often the first to call attention to important new topics which have then been studied by many others. Such topics included, among many others, nodule growth rate assessment, identification of different types of nodules (solid, part-solid, and nonsolid) and their differing pathologic findings and survival rates, identification of emphysema, coronary artery calcifications, mediastinal masses, the importance of including smoking cessation into the screening program.
Numerous publications document the findings of the I-ELCAP members’ work. Among these findings as already stated above:
- Curability of Stage I lung cancers is 80-90%
- Annual CT screening allows at least 80% of lung cancers to be diagnosed at clinical Stage I
- CT screening creates a counseling opportunity that results in greater smoking cessation
- CT screening also provides quantitative and prognostic information on emphysema and coronary artery calcifications
- Cost of CT screening for lung cancer compare favorably with breast, cervical, and colon cancer screenings.
Research is ongoing, incorporating larger pools of patient data to reaffirm early findings and suggest new directions for future research and recommendations.