Karmanos Cancer Center launches Lung Cancer Screening Program to help detect lung cancer early

Jul 22, 2013, 07:05 ET from Karmanos Cancer Institute

DETROIT, July 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center is launching a Lung Cancer Screening Program for adults with a history of smoking – both current and former smokers. The goal of the program is to help detect lung cancer early with the help of low-dose CT (computed tomography) scans. Karmanos is able to offer the lung cancer screening for the reduced cost of $100, thanks to the generous support of the Gianni Ferrarotti Lung Cancer Foundation which is partially underwriting the expense. 

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The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), a study of over 50,000 current or former heavy smokers conducted by the National Institutes of Health, showed that screening using three annual CT scans can reduce the number of deaths from lung cancer. Studies show that, among high-risk adults, early detection of lung cancer through screening with a CT scan rather than a chest X-ray can reduce cancer death by 20 percent and overall death rate by seven percent.

"The findings from this national study are significant, which is why we want to provide this lung cancer screening here at Karmanos," said Shirish Gadgeel, M.D., leader of the thoracic multidisciplinary team at the Karmanos Cancer Institute. He added, "The multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology team at Karmanos, consisting of experts focused only on lung cancer, is uniquely qualified to implement this important screening program. We are very grateful for the incredible support of the Gianni Ferrarotti Lung Cancer Foundation and the fund created at Karmanos to help put an end to this disease. This screening test is an opportunity to dramatically change the lung cancer mortality rate for those who have a long history of smoking."

Founded in 2004, the Gianni Ferrarotti Lung Cancer Foundation is dedicated to increasing lung cancer awareness and supporting research that will lead to early detection and better treatment options. The foundation has raised more than $70,000 for the Gianni Ferrarotti Lung Cancer Research Fund at Karmanos and has also provided monetary support to numerous families who are in financial need, due to the impact of lung cancer.

Lung cancer is one of the deadliest types of cancer and accounts for more deaths than any other cancer in both men and women. It's estimated that more than 159,400 people will die of lung cancer in the United States this year alone, representing about 27 percent of all cancer deaths. Any opportunity to help prevent this disease or detect it early through screening can result in less extensive treatment and better outcomes, and may help reduce mortality rates.

Who is Eligible for Lung Cancer Screening?

  • Men and women ages 55-75 who are current or former smokers and who've smoked at least one pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years. The NLST found that people in this age range with a history of smoking were most likely to benefit from this screening.

What's Involved?

  • The screening involves three consecutive annual CT scans of the chest. The screening scans are available at the Karmanos Cancer Center Weisberg Cancer Treatment Center in Farmington Hills.
  • Karmanos will offer the initial lung cancer screening test for $100. Should there be a positive finding, future scans should be covered by insurance, otherwise the remaining two scans would also be charged the reduced out-of-pocket cost of $100 each.                 
  • Any abnormality found on the CT should be followed up by the patient's primary health care provider or a specialist at the Karmanos Cancer Center.

To participate in Karmanos' Lung Cancer Screening Program, call toll free 855-527-LUNG (855-527-5864) or email lungcancerscreening@karmanos.org

Another Option

For those who feel the lung cancer screening would be beneficial but do not meet the eligibility criteria or cannot commit financially to complete the program, the INHALE Study could be an option. INHALE (Inflammation, Health and Lung Epidemiology), sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and coordinated by the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine (WSU SOM), is a study that includes a chest CT scan. INHALE is aimed at identifying genetic and environmental determinants of lung disease – gaining understanding about why some people develop lung health problems and others do not. Karmanos and WSU SOM received the national grant to conduct the study with 4,000 participants.  

The INHALE Study serves as another option and may identify cancer in its early stage when it's most treatable. For more information or to enroll in the INHALE Study, call toll free 1-866-828-2339.

How to Help

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2013, about 174,100 cancer deaths will be caused by tobacco use. One of the best ways to stay healthy is to not smoke, although you don't have to smoke to get lung cancer. Here is a list of resources and ways you can help yourself and those you care about.

  • For Smoking Cessation and other helpful tips click here or go to http://www.karmanos.org/smoking-cessation  
  • Karmanos has several support groups for those with all types of cancers, as well as for their spouses/family members. Karmanos' support groups are open to all cancer patients. Click here or visit http://www.karmanos.org/cancer-care/patient-center/support-education/groups to learn more.
  • The 10th Annual Gianni Ferrarotti Lung Cancer Foundation 5K Run/Walk & Little Lungs Fun Run, Sunday, Sept. 15, 8:30 a.m., at Kensington Metro Park, will support the Lung Cancer Screening Program at Karmanos, helping to detect lung cancer early for those at high risk of the disease. Visit www.gianniscause.org or call 313-532-0983 to register or give a donation.

For more information on cancer services call 1-800-527-6266 or visit www.karmanos.org

About the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Located in mid-town Detroit, Michigan, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is one of 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Caring for more than 6,000 new patients annually on a budget of $260 million, conducting more than 700 cancer-specific scientific investigation programs and clinical trials, Karmanos is among the nation's best cancer centers. Through the commitment of 1,000 staff, including nearly 300 physicians and researchers on faculty at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, and supported by thousands of volunteer and financial donors, Karmanos strives to prevent, detect and eradicate all forms of cancer. Its long-term partnership with the WSU School of Medicine enhances the collaboration of critical research and academics related to cancer care. Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., is the Institute's president and chief executive officer. For more information call 1-800-KARMANOS (1-800-527-6266) or go to www.karmanos.org

SOURCE Karmanos Cancer Institute