North Arkansas Regional Medical Center (NARMC) is now offering annual lung cancer screenings. Low dose CT (LDCT) lung cancer screening is quick and easy and results in a minimal amount of radiation exposure. NARMC is determined to raise awareness and improve access to this testing for all people at high risk.
“This screening is an annual scan, much like a mammogram. The participant must meet a certain criteria to qualify,” says Tom Downes, Director of Imaging Services. “With this screening more cancers will be found sooner and earlier. This screening will save many lives.”
You may qualify for a LDCT lung cancer screening at NARMC is you meet the following criteria: aged 55-77 years old with a history of 30 or more smoking pack years (pack years = packs smoked per day x number of years), currently smoking or quit within the past 15 years, no symptoms of lung cancer and no history of cancer within the last 5 years. If you meet these criteria, schedule a shared decision making visit with your doctor to discuss your eligibility.
You do not have to be a NARMC patient to receive a lung cancer screening. However, you must schedule a shared decision making visit with your doctor before your scheduled appointment will be eligible. According to the American Lung Association website, “…Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in America, but now there's hope. Screening is used to detect lung cancer early, when it is more likely to be curable. If lung cancer is caught before it spreads, the likelihood of surviving 5 years or more improves to 59 percent. While you should be taking precautions against COVID-19, given the critical importance of screening for lung cancer, you should not delay this conversation with your doctor…” (Reference: https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/lung-cancer/saved-by-the-scan)