(WILMINGTON, Del. – November 23, 2022)
In recognition that November is Lung Cancer Awareness month, ChristianaCare recommends people with a history of smoking receive a low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan that can detect cancer at an early stage.
Cecil County has one of Maryland’s highest rates of lung cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. About 80 county residents are diagnosed with the disease each year.
Early-stage lung cancer often has no symptoms. This means people find out they have it when it’s harder to treat and more deadly.
“People who currently smoke or formerly smoked are at higher risk for lung cancer,” said Nicholas Petrelli, M.D., the Bank of America Endowed Medical Director of ChristianaCare’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute. “The American Cancer Society recommends yearly lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan for some of these individuals. If anyone is or has been a smoker and meets the eligibility requirements, I urge them to get screened.”
The follow are eligibility requirements for lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scan:
- Be ages 50 to 80 years AND
- Have a history of heavy smoking AND
- Are a current smoker or quit smoking within the last 15 years AND
- Haven’t received a CT scan of the lungs in the past 12 months AND
- Receive a referral from a provider for lung cancer screening with low-dose CT.
Heavy smoking is defined as a smoking history of 20 “pack years” or more. A “pack year” is smoking an average of one pack of cigarettes per day for one year. For example, a person could have a 20 pack-year history by smoking one pack a day for 20 years or two packs a day for 10 years.
CT scans are quick, quiet, painless and noninvasive. The scan passes twice over the chest and back, which takes less than 15 minutes. Patients usually will receive the results in one to two weeks from their referring doctor.
Medicare, Medicaid and many private insurance companies cover the full cost of these scans as part of preventive care benefits for qualified individuals. Individuals should contact their insurance provider about their plan’s coverage details.
Maryland patients need a referral from their primary care or family doctor to get a low-dose CT scan. To schedule a scan with a referral, call 410-392-7050.
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Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, ChristianaCare is one of the country’s most dynamic health care organizations, centered on improving health outcomes, making high-quality care more accessible and lowering health care costs. ChristianaCare includes an extensive network of primary care and outpatient services, home health care, urgent care centers, three hospitals (1,430 beds), a freestanding emergency department, a Level I trauma center and a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, a comprehensive stroke center and regional centers of excellence in heart and vascular care, cancer care and women’s health. It also includes the pioneering Gene Editing Institute.
ChristianaCare is nationally recognized as a great place to work, rated by Forbes as the 2nd best health system for diversity and inclusion, and the 29th best health system to work for in the United States, and by IDG Computerworld as one of the nation’s Best Places to Work in IT. ChristianaCare is rated by Healthgrades as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals and continually ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek and other national quality ratings. ChristianaCare is a nonprofit teaching health system with more than 260 residents and fellows. With its groundbreaking Center for Virtual Health and a focus on population health and value-based care, ChristianaCare is shaping the future of health care.
About the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute
The Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, a National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program, is part of the ChristianaCare, one of the country’s most dynamic health systems, centered on improving health outcomes, making high-quality care more accessible and lowering health care costs. With more than 245,000 patient visits last year, the Graham Cancer Center is recognized as a national model for multidisciplinary cancer care and a top enroller in U.S. clinical research trials. In conjunction with the Gene Editing Institute, the Center for Translational Cancer Research, the Tissue Procurement Center, statewide High-Risk Family Cancer Registry and collaborations with world-renowned scientists at facilities such as The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia scientists are opening new avenues to more quickly translate cancer science into cancer medicine. For more information, visit christianacare.org/cancer.