New Lung Screening Offers Early Detection of Cancer

Rooks County Health Center (RCH) offers a new screening for early detection of lung cancer.  For some this life saving screening can be performed at no cost to the patient. RCH is one of only two facilities in northwest Kansas certified to perform the screening.  The screening is painless, takes approximately 15 minutes and involves having a low dose CT Scan (Computerized Axial Tomography). The exam is recommended yearly for those with high-risk factors.

“If you are a smoker, or have been previously, and are concerned with lung cancer, this screening can possibly save your life,” stated Karen Harris, RCH Diagnostic Imaging Director.  The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation calculates that lung cancer kills approximately 160,000 people in the U.S. a year, more than the other three leading cancers (breast, prostate and colorectal) combined. According to the American Lung Association, active smoking is responsible for almost 90% of diagnosed lung cancers with 84% of those going undetected. Once cancer has spread beyond the lungs, the survival rate is only 4%. With early detection, over 26,000 lung cancer deaths could be prevented each year.

Harris recommends speaking with your primary care provider to see if you are a candidate. Requirements include being a current smoker or having quit within the last 15 years with a smoking history of at least one pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years, or the equivalent. The screening is provided at no cost to Medicare Part B recipients who are 55 to 77 with no current signs or symptoms of lung cancer who meet the requirements.

Some commercial health insurance companies may also cover the cost of the screening if you qualify. The screening is also available to anyone whose doctor advises it for a nominal out of pocket fee. Please call 785-434-4553 to request more information.


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