Lung Cancer Prevention and Diagnosis
Catch lung cancer before it catches you
There are many reasons why someone may experience bouts of coughing, shortness of breath, raspy voice or lower respiratory infections. Most of the time, these symptoms are associated with a cold, the flu or allergies. However, if these symptoms last more than a few weeks, it is time to see your Primary Care Physician to make sure that something more serious isn’t going on.
Cancers of the lung and chest can be successfully treated if caught in the early stages of disease. Maimonides Cancer Center has radiologists who specialize in the chest and lungs, along with state of the art equipment to help make an accurate diagnosis.
Our chest and lung cancer doctors (oncologists) are trained in minimally invasive techniques for biopsies and surgeries. Procedures are done with techniques able to find cancers not visible to the naked eye. Our doctors also use ultrasound that can help diagnose cancer or determine cancer stage with a few, small surgical incisions.
Lung cancer screening and diagnostic options
- Computed Tomography (CT) scans
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scans
- Autofluorescence bronchoscopy
- Narrow band imaging bronchoscopy
- Endobroncial ultrasound
- Upper endoscopy
- Transthoracic CT-guided needle biopsy
Maimonides also has preventive services available for thoracic cancers, including a smoking cessation program and the Lung Cancer Screening Program to detect early stage lung cancer. For esophageal cancer, our physicians specialize in the Barrx procedure to treat Barretts esophagus, a disorder caused by acid reflux which increases the risk of getting esophageal cancer. In addition, our renowned Nissen Center for the Treatment of Heartburn & Esophageal Disease offers minimally invasive surgical techniques to treat chronic acid reflux.
The Maimonides Lung Cancer Screening Program
The Maimonides Lung Cancer Screening Program focuses on high-risk individuals (see risk factors below) who choose to be screened prior to the development of any symptoms. Early detection allows for a comprehensive treatment plan that is more likely to result in a cure. It also provides peace-of-mind for a high-risk individual.
To find out if you qualify for a screening please email us or call (718) 283-2059.
How Lung Cancer Screening Works
A low-dose CT scans allow our team to diagnose lung cancers at their earliest and most treatable stages. The 5-minute screening uses radiation levels significantly lower than those of a regular CT. Research by the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial has shown that this exam, which finds tiny lung spots years before they would appear on a regular chest x-ray, can reduce death from lung cancer by 20% for high-risk patients.
You qualify for the screening if you are:
- 55 years or older with a smoking history of at least 30 “pack years” (packs per day multiplied by the number of years you have smoked)
- Currently smoking, or quit within the last 15 years and feel healthy
Risk Factors for Developing Lung Cancer
If you have one or more of the following risk factors, the Maimonides Lung Cancer specialists may be able to help you:
- Cigarette smoking: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use accounts for 90% of all lung cancers. The more years and packs-per-day you have smoked, the greater the risk of developing cancer.
- Exposure to cancer-causing agents: If you have been exposed to high levels of certain agents, such as asbestos or radon, you have an increased risk of lung cancer.
- Significant exposure to second-hand smoke.
- A history of other types of cancer.
- Lung scarring: Some diseases, such as certain types of pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or emphysema, can create trauma within the lungs which increases the likelihood of developing lung cancer.
- Family history: A first-degree relative, such as a parent or sibling, who has had lung cancer increases your risk.
What is the Cost of Lung Cancer Screening?
Patients who have insurance are fully covered for lung screening. If someone does not have insurance, there is limited financial assistance available.
Find out more and speak with a specialist.
Call 718-283-2500 to make an appointment with a lung cancer specialist or request an appointment online today.