Latest Staging Technologies Help Doctors to More Effectively Stage and Treat Lung Cancer Accurately, Improving Outcomes
FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. – The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently reported that there is significant evidence that low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening of current and former adult smokers can reduce lung cancer death rates by 20 percent. In its continued efforts to provide its served communities convenient access to screening technologies, Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center (OCMMC) recently announced the opening of its new Early Lung Cancer Screening Program.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that in 2012 there were 226,160 new cases of lung cancer and 160,340 deaths, accounting for about 28% of all cancer deaths. Lung cancer continues to be the leading cause of cancer death in American men and women. Although tobacco smoking is the main preventable cause of lung cancer, the incidence of lung cancer in non-smoking individuals is on the rise.
“We are extremely excited to offer Orange County residents today’s most advanced lung cancer screening and staging technologies,” said Dr. Thomas Asciuto, pulmonologist at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center “Lung cancer is responsible for taking more lives than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined which is why we are educating and encouraging high-risk patients to strongly consider undergoing a low-dose chest CT screening.”
As part of the MemorialCare Cancer Institute at OCMMC, The Early Lung Cancer Screening Program is equipped with a 64 slice CT scanner. The CT scan consists of a low dose high resolution image of the chest. The radiologist then interprets the findings of the scan and communicates the results with the patient’s physician who makes recommendations based on the findings.
According to the Lung Cancer Alliance, only 16% of lung cancer is diagnosed at its earliest and most curable stage, and more than 51% of cases are diagnosed after the cancer has metastasized. With Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS), a new minimally-invasive lung cancer staging technology available at OCMMC, it is now possible to accurately stage lung cancer more accurately for all lung cancer patients. There are several advantages for using EBUS as a diagnostic tool including:
- More lymph nodes stations are accessible compared to the conventional, more invasive surgical procedure, known as mediastinoscopy.
- Patient avoids having to undergo a more invasive surgical procedure to obtain a diagnosis.
- EBUS is safe, accurate, less invasive with a lower risk of complications, and performed in an outpatient setting.
“The EBUS technology is extremely exciting because of its ability to provide doctors crucial staging information about the patient’s lung cancer,” explained Dr. Asciuto.
According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s recommendations and which have been adopted by the Early Lung Cancer Screening Program at OCMMC, lung cancer screening is recommended for the following candidates:
- High-risk patients between the ages of 55-79
- Current smokers and those who have smoked the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes for 30 years or more
- Still smoking or have quit within the past 15 years
“Lung cancer is a deadly disease that we cannot afford to ignore,” added Dr. Asciuto, pulmonologist. “The U.S. Preventative Task Force’s report provides us evidence-based medicine to support our longstanding belief that early detection is paramount in detecting lung cancer at its earliest stage and it is absolutely critical for ‘high-risk’ patients to remain vigilant about their screenings.”
The Early Lung Cancer Screening Program’s multidisciplinary team of expert physicians including pulmonologists, oncologists, thoracic surgeons, radiologists and radiation therapists all meet with the patient to review their test positive results and medical history so that together as one team, they can develop an individualized treatment plan that best meets the patient’s needs. A dedicated thoracic oncology nurse specialist guides each patient through their care plan and course of treatment ensuring that they are well-informed about their care plan.
“Another one of the major benefits of the lung screening program is that if a patient is diagnosed with lung cancer, he or she will will have access to highly trained cancer specialists who work together to provide patients innovative and compassionate cancer care,” said Dr. Asciuto.
The Early Lung Cancer Screening Program at OCMMC offers this CT scan for $125. Medical insurance is not billed for the screening.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call the Early Lung Cancer Screening Program at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center at (714) 378-7900, or log on to www.memorialcare.org/orangecoast.
About MemorialCare Cancer Institute at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center
MemorialCare Cancer Institute at Orange Coast is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of experienced specialists that provides a personalized patient care plan, advanced diagnostics, leading comprehensive cancer care at all stages, nurse navigators, counseling and support groups, and an onsite American Cancer Society Information Center. The Cancer Institute is also home to specialized cancer programs including Thoracic (Lung) Oncology and Neuro (Brain/Spine) Oncology Specialty Programs and conducts extensive cancer research providing patients convenient access to today’s newest clinical trials.
Each patient is unique and so is our approach. Our team of expert physicians, nurses and specialists puts their heads and hearts together to treat the cancer and nurture your spirit.