November may have been Lung Cancer Awareness Month, but lung cancer is a year-round issue at Baptist Health Madisonville.

Lung cancer is the most common cancer treated at the hospital, as well as the most common cancer in both men and women in the U.S. Lung cancer kills more people than pancreatic, breast and colon cancer combined, in part because lung cancer often does not have symptoms until it is too late to treat effectively.

Low-dose CT screening for lung cancer carried out safely, efficiently and equitably saves tens of thousands of lives a year.

“With only 5% of eligible patients getting lung screenings, our goal is to educate the community to better reach those who qualify and to detect lung cancer in the earliest stage possible,” said Susan Knight BS, RT, (R) (T), CTR, lung navigator at the Merle M. Mahr Cancer Center. “My role is to support patients and act as an advocate for them by coordinating appointments, answering questions and concerns, monitoring test results and communicating with providers for appropriate follow-up care.”

Medicare and most insurance will cover the cost of the low-dose CT lung screening for people who meet these Medicare criteria:

• 55 to 77 years old

• Greater than 30-pack year smoking history (defined as smoking one pack a day for 30 years, or two packs a day for 15 years, or three packs a day for 10 years)

• Currently smoke or quit within the last 15 years

• No signs or symptoms of lung cancer such as recent weight loss, hoarseness or persistent cough

If you meet the criteria, you will need a provider’s order for the quick, painless, non-invasive test. You can talk to your provider or the Baptist Health Madisonville lung navigator by phoning 270.825.5820.

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