Could a Change in Cancer Screening Save 20,000 Lives a Year? A Syracuse Cancer Center Believes So.

Aug 16, 2013

A Syracuse cancer treatment center has started using a new screening method that could save 20-thousand

Heavy current and ex-smokers could get life-saving screenings under new recommendations.

lives a year in the U-S.  A change of Federal recommendations is in the works to find more lung cancer.

 Many long-term smokers probably know they have an increased risk of lung cancer.  Upstate Cancer Center Medical Director Doctor Louise Kohman says the Preventive Services Task Force is now suggesting that yearly C-T scans can make a life-saving difference.

“This is the first time we’ve had evidence that it actually saves lives.  Because there are certain screenings, although they detect more cancers, they don’t actually result in life savings, like P-S-A tests will detect many more prostate cancers, but since most prostate cancers are not fatal, it doesn’t save a lot of lives.  Most lung cancers are pretty fatal.”

CT Scans could performed in machines such as this one to detect more lung cancers.

A key plus of these recommendations, which Kohman believes will be adopted after a public comment period, is that insurance would cover the tests.  They’re only for people with long histories of smoking, such as a pack-a-day for 30 years or two packs-a-day for 15…even if they’ve quit.  The Upstate Cancer Center is offering the C-T Scan screenings already.  Patients have to pay a reduced 235 dollar fee.

“We hope people don’t wait until their insurance will cover it, because they’re losing a chance to get ahead of something, knowing that in the future, eventually, there will be coverage for it.”

Early detection is key to fighting any cancer, but Kohman emphasizes a far more effective life-saving action – quit smoking.
Anyone interested in the C-T Scan lung-cancer screening can all the Cancer Center at 464-8668 for eligibility and information.