Making Strides to Take Advantage of Lung Cancer Screening
In previous Backstage @ Upstage podcasts, Jordan Rich and Hildy have been joined by guests to discuss the importance of low dose CT scans to detect lung cancer early. In a recent podcast, the focus was on “failing grades” for efforts to help those who are eligible for low dose screening take advantage of the opportunity. The Lung Cancer Screening Trial notes that if eligible individuals were to receive low dose screening, we would reduce lung cancer mortality by an estimated 20% to 33% for high-risk individuals. Approximately 10,000 to 20,000 additional lives could be saved each year!
Clearly early detection is critical in being able to diagnose and then maintain and extend the lives of people with lung cancer. It is shocking that of all those eligible nationally, only 3% receive low dose CT screening – clearly a failing grade! Here in Massachusetts, we’re leading the pack, but the percentage of people getting scans is only 17%. We all agree that we must do better.
Guests on our recent Backstage @ Upstage podcast, Dr Jacob Sands of Dana Farber and Dr. Andrea McKee of Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, discuss the origins of “Rescue Lung, Rescue Life,” a program to address some of the barriers to screening. The goal of this program is to broaden access to lung cancer screening with no cost to patients. Dr McKee started this program at her own medical center and was able to make this program available throughout the United States.
The Rescue Lung Society is a multidisciplinary, not-for-profit, caregiver-driven voluntary organization providing team-based solutions to empower lung health and reduce health disparities through prevention and early detection of lung cancer. It was established to eliminate barriers to screening adoption through public/provider education, advocacy, research, and the development of novel tools which streamline high quality program implementation and management.
The mission of the Rescue Lung Society is to save lives of people at risk for lung cancer through high-quality CT lung screening today and pioneer early detection innovations tomorrow. For decades lung cancer has been the number one cancer killer in the United States, leading to the deaths of more men and women than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined. The good news is that with CT lung screening we finally have a proven method to find lung cancer early, when it is curable.
Our Backstage @ Upstage podcast is an important conversation about what opportunities we can create to help save lives. Years ago, lung cancer was seen as a death sentence. Now, lung cancer screening can detect the disease early, when lives can be saved and extended.