Scripps MD Anderson launches lung cancer screening program

Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center launched a lung cancer screening program using low-dose CT scans for San Diego County residents.

The program comes shortly after MD Anderson and dozens of others advocated for increased access to low-dose CT scans in an effort to reduce lung cancer deaths.

The cancer screenings are available to San Diego County residents who meet current U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines for annual lung cancer screenings, MD Anderson said in a news release shared with Becker's Nov. 2. 

The guidelines were recently expanded to include adults starting at age 50 who smoked a pack a day for 20 years and currently smoke or have quit in the past 15 years. Less than 10 percent of eligible patients receive lung cancer screening, according to the report.

"While early detection in lung cancer is critical, currently only about 20 percent of patients are diagnosed at an early stage, when treatments can be most effective," Thomas Buchholz, MD, medical director of Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center, said in the release. "But with screenings, this percentage can significantly increase. Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer-related deaths nationally, so having a comprehensive program like ours staffed by a multidisciplinary team of specialists to detect it early can be a real game changer."

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