Jack took up smoking in high school, quickly accelerating to a pack-a-day habit. It was his own high school-age children who finally convinced him to quit for good. A smoke-free decade later, Jack feels healthy but he worries about the possibility of lung cancer due to his 34 years of smoking.
“This isn’t uncommon,” said Mary Sterling, Director of Imaging Services at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC). “People who have a history of smoking and current smokers worry about a lung cancer diagnosis.”
People like Jack were the motivation for YRMC’s recently launched Lung Cancer Screening and Care program. The comprehensive program includes lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT). The screenings produce detailed images of the lungs and may reveal extremely small nodules—an indication of lung cancer in its early stages. LDCT is available at the Imaging Services Department at YRMC East in Prescott Valley, Prescott Valley Medical Imaging and Prescott Medical Imaging.
“It’s estimated that more than 80 percent of lung cancers could be cured if they were discovered at this early stage,” Sterling said. “LDCT is for people before they begin to experience symptoms.”
Who should consider LDCT? YRMC recommends speaking to your healthcare provider about LDCT if you have concerns about your smoking history and if you are:
- 55 to 77 years old
- A current smoker
- A former smoker who quit in the last 15 years
- Someone who has a smoking history of at least one pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years
If the results of your screening are normal, you’ll undergo another LDCT in 12 months. If the screening detects potential cancerous nodules, YRMC’s Lung Cancer Screening and Care Program includes top medical professionals. These radiologists and pulmonologists as well as a procedural pulmonologist and cardiothoracic surgeon collaborate to diagnose and treat lung cancer.
YRMC’s Lung Cancer Screening and Care Program also includes a clinical navigator who is available to assist and support people at all phases of the program.
To find out if LDCT is right for you, speak to your physician. Visit our website for information on Lung Cancer Screening and Care at YRMC or call our clinical navigator at (928) 771-5454.
Also, check out the free Respiratory Wellness Classes YRMC offers for people throughout our communities.