The University of Connecticut Health Center has expanded its war on lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., through a new screening program that can detect problems and lead to potentially life-saving treatment.
The Lung Cancer Screening Program at the UConn Health Center is based on the latest research that shows a low-dose computed tomography scan (also called CT or CAT scan) can detect lung cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages.
“We are looking inside the body instead of through it,” says Dr. Electra V. Kaloudis, radiologist and director of the Lung Cancer Screening Program. “Lung cancer has an 88 percent survival rate when found and treated in the earliest stages,” adds Kaloudis.
Dr. Electra Kaloudis speaks to NBC Connecticut about the Health Center’s new lung cancer screening program.
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The scans are recommended for individuals age 55 to 74, current or former smokers who quit within 15 years, or smoked one pack per day for 30 years or two packs per day for 15 years (the number of packs per day times the number of years smoked should be 30 or above). Additionally, a family history of lung cancer or additional risk factors is also considered.
The National Cancer Institute estimates there will be 228,190 new lung cancer cases diagnosed this year alone and that 72,220 women and 87,260 men will die from the disease, whose leading cause is tobacco use and second-hand smoke.
“Once it’s determined that an individual qualifies for the screening program, an order for the test must be placed by their primary care doctor, “says nurse navigator Patti Ardolino. “I can assist with getting clearance from the primary care doctor or help establish a provider within the UConn Health Center network or in the community if the individual does not have a primary care doctor.
The cost of the screening is $100 which may be covered by insurance. The nurse navigator can assist individuals determine if their health plan will cover the cost.
For further information or to determine eligibility, call 860-677-LUNG(5864).