One year after MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando launched a pilot lung cancer screening program for patients most at risk for developing the disease, such screenings are now being recommended by the American Cancer Society. MD Anderson - Orlando was the first in Central Florida to offer this type of lung cancer screening program which targets those most at risk for lung cancer, smokers and former smokers, in the hopes of catching any sign of cancer early, and improving survival rates.
The screenings appear to be doing just that:
• Of the patients screened as part of MD Anderson - Orlando's Lung Cancer Screening program, nearly one-third, 31%, had positive test results, where nodules were found in their lungs.
• Those patients are now under close surveillance at our lung nodule clinic and approximately 6% have begun treatment for lung cancer.
• In addition, MD Anderson - Orlando's screenings appear to be helping smokers quitting the habit. More than 1/3 of those screened stopped smoking as a result of the experience
• All of those screened will continue to be monitored closely for signs of cancer.
Since the beginning of the program, MD Anderson - Orlando has offered the CT scans at a discounted rate of $375. CT Scans usually run around $1500. To be eligible for this pilot screening program you must be over the age of 55 and have smoked one pack a day for 30 years or more.
The program is based on a study by the National Lung Screening Trial that showed that CT screenings detect lung cancer early and succeeded in cutting lung cancer deaths by 20%. The results from this landmark study have now been published in The New England Journal of Medicine, bringing additional attention to the fight against lung cancer.
Lung cancer accounts for more deaths than any other cancer in the U.S. Over 18,000 Floridians are expected to be diagnosed with lung cancer this year. Each year over 222,000 people nationwide will be diagnosed with lung cancer and approximately 157,000 will die from the disease.
MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando