We have written previously about recent advances in lung cancer screening and the importance of early detection in the diagnosis of lung cancer. Low Dose CT scan screening has been shown to be effective in finding early-stage lung cancer and reducing the risk of dying from lung cancer. Roswell Park Cancer Center, located in Buffalo, New York and one of the nation’s leading cancer centers, has long recommended Low Dose CT scan screening for individuals over 50 years of age that are current or former smokers and have been exposed to asbestos or other carcinogens in their work. Despite the demonstrated benefits of lung cancer screening, only a small percentage of eligible individuals have taken advantage of the testing.
Roswell Park has now taken lung cancer screening on the road. Roswell has recently introduced its mobile lung cancer screening unit – EDDY – Early Detection Driven to You. The program is designed to bring lung cancer screening into the communities where it is most needed. Access to preventative health care is an ongoing problem, particularly in underserved communities. Even though lung cancer screening has been proven to reduce the risk of death, here in Western New York only 6% of those that should be screened actually have been. Roswell hopes to change that with EDDY. Bringing screening directly into the community will catch more cancer early and catching cancer early will save lives.
The mobile unit will be traveling to locations around the area and there are plans for expansion throughout the state in the future. The testing is fast and non-invasive. Those being screened can expect to be in and out very quickly. The scan itself takes only 30 seconds and uses far less radiation than normal CT scans. For groups at risk from lung cancer, there is no reason now not to get screened. Roswell Park identifies these criteria for lung cancer screening:
- a history of cancer of the lung, esophagus, head, or neck, or
- the following three factors:
- at least 50 years old
- have at least 20 pack/years of smoking
- was an active smoker within the last 15 years — even if you’ve quit
Other risk factors are also considered:
- Asbestos-related lung disease such as pulmonary asbestosis
- History of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) also known as emphysema
- Family history of lung cancer (parent, sibling or child)
- Profession with significant exposure noxious fumes, chemicals or smoke
Railroad workers commonly have many of these risk factors, including asbestos-related lung disease and exposure to asbestos, and other cancer-causing fumes, chemicals, smoke and dust.
If you would like to get screened contact Roswell Park for an appointment. Click here for information on centers in other areas of the country that may offer lung cancer screening. For more information about cancer and railroad work contact us.