Arkansas Lung Cancer Screening Program Success
When Thomas Donovan started smoking in the Army Reserves in 1945, cigarettes did not have warning labels. Smoking proved to beApril 2016 Issue a very difficult habit to quit that he struggled with throughout his life. In 2014, his physician, Dr. Allen Moseley told him about a lung cancer screening CT exam. “I agreed because I knew that once it hurts, it is too late to do anything.” Thomas had lost his wife and his brother to lung cancer.
Dr. Moseley explained the lung screening could find lung cancer when it was small and treatable. In September of 2014, Thomas had the screening, a low dose CT scan of his lungs at MANA Fayetteville Diagnostic Clinic and a cancer was found. His right upper lung was removed a month later and he has been cancer free for 17 months. Thomas goes to the clinic periodically to have follow-up exams and recommends the screening to his friends.
The Center for Chest Care’s Lung Cancer Screening Program began in March of 2013 as a partnership between the physicians at Highlands Oncology, Cardiovascular Surgical Clinic of Northwest Arkansas, and Medical Associates of Northwest Arkansas. They have screened 1,900 candidates and detected 51 lung cancers and 26 early stage lung cancers.
According to Dr. Edward Jackson, a pulmonologist at MANA Fayetteville Diagnostic Clinic, the program is one of the most successful in the nation. “I am not sure if it is because we have more smokers in Arkansas or because of the group of specialists we have on our team who meet weekly outside of clinic hours to review the cases, but we have found more cancers than other screening centers,” said Dr. Jackson.
Lung Cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in the United States, mainly because it is often found in its later stages. The group started offering the CT Lung screening at no cost to attract more participants. The program is not about making money, their mission is to save lives by finding lung cancer early. “If we do not have those at risk getting the screening because of the cost, it could not be successful,” explained Dr. Jackson.
Qualifications for the free lung cancer screening program include age (50 years and older) and smoking history. The Center for Chest Care offers the screening at accredited centers in Fayetteville and Rogers. For more information visit screenforlungcancer.com or call 479-695-0081.
This article was featured in Citiscapes Metro Monthly Magazine in April 2016 Issue.