Concord Hospital Payson Center for Cancer Care Begins Lung Cancer Screening

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Published on January 23, 2017

Concord Hospital Payson Center for Cancer Care Begins Lung Cancer Screening

Concord Hospital has added an effective new weapon in the fight against lung cancer – the leading cause of cancer-related deaths.

Concord Hospital Payson Center for Cancer Care has launched the Lung Cancer Screening program, a collaboration including Concord Hospital Medical Group primary and specialty care, New Hampshire Oncology-Hematology, X-Ray Professional Associates and Radiation Oncology Associates.

Lung cancer kills more Americans annually than breast, prostate and colorectal cancers combined, in part because by the time symptoms develop, the cancer often is too advanced to cure.

But lung cancer can be treated and cured if it is discovered early, before patients begin experiencing symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath or chest pain.

The new Lung Cancer Screening program includes low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening — the only recommended screening test for early detection of lung cancer. In this test, an X-ray machine uses low doses of radiation to create detailed images of the lungs. Screenings can be performed at Concord Hospital or any Concord Imaging Center location.

LDCT screening is recommended for current or former smokers aged 55 to 77 who have no symptoms of lung cancer and who meet the following criteria:

  • Individuals with a history of at least 30 pack years of smoking. (A “pack year” is calculated by multiplying the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day by the number of years of smoking;
  • Former smokers who have quit within the past 15 years;
  • Patients who are fit enough to undergo surgery or radiation therapy.

A national lung screening trial found 20 percent fewer lung cancer deaths among a similar patient population when screened annually for three years using LDCT compared to a standard chest X-ray. One cancer death was prevented for every 320 patients screened.

To be screened, patients require a referral from their primary care provider. LDCT screening is covered by Medicare and most private insurance plans.

With its new screening program, Concord Hospital has been recognized as a designated Lung Cancer Screening Center by the American College of Radiology.

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(603) 227-7000, ext. 4215