COLUMBUS, Ohio – The best way to catch lung cancer early is through early
detection, says Dr.
David Carbone, director of the new thoracic oncology center at The Ohio
State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital
and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).
Lung cancer is
the number one killer of both men and women in the United States, killing more
people than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined. This year alone, more
than 226,000 men and women in the United States will be diagnosed with lung
cancer, and 160,000 will die from the disease.
Other major cancer killers – for example breast and colon – each have
accepted screening strategies – mammograms and colonoscopies – for early
“Until recently, there was really no early detection test for lung cancer
proven to reduce deaths from this disease,” Carbone says. “Unfortunately,
without screening, most cases of lung cancer are diagnosed when they have
already spread to other parts of the body and are incurable.”
The National Lung
Screening Trial – a major study of heavy smokers – compared computed
tomography (CT) scans and chest X-rays and showed that having a lung CT scan
significantly lowered the risk of dying of lung cancer.
Based on these findings, OSUCCC – James now provides lung cancer screenings
to those at high risk of developing lung cancer. The screenings, which involve
one low-dose CT scan each year for a three-year period, are available from 4-6
p.m. every other Monday on the second floor of the Martha Morehouse Medical
Pavilion, 2050 Kenny Road. The next two screening dates are Dec. 3 and Dec. 17.
Each scan will cost $99.
To qualify for the screenings, participants must be 55-74 years old, be a
current smoker with a history of smoking two packs per day for 15 years or one
pack per day for 30 years, or be an ex-smoker who has quit within the past 15
“Even better than early detection of lung cancer is preventing it in the
first place, so smoking cessation is clearly important and is an integral part
of our screening program,” Carbone says. “However, CT screening is not perfect
as there are many people who develop lung cancer who never smoked, and these
cancers would not be detected by these screening CT scans. Further work needs to
be done to prevent lung cancer in these people and to detect it early.”
The National Lung Screening Trial showed a 20 percent reduction in lung
cancer mortality, says Dr.
Patrick Nana-Sinkam, pulmonologist at The Ohio State University Wexner
Medical Center and part of the multi-disciplinary lung cancer team at Ohio
State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research
“Our lung cancer screening program provides results to the patient within a
few minutes,” says Nana-Sinkam. “The main goal is to look for asymptomatic spots
on the lung. About 80 percent of lung cancers are smoking-related, which is why
this group is targeted to have these early screenings, before the lung cancer is
To schedule a screening, call The James Line at (800) 293-5066.
The Ohio State University
Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J.
Solove Research Institute strives to create a cancer-free world by
integrating scientific research with excellence in education and
patient-centered care, a strategy that leads to better methods of prevention,
detection and treatment. Ohio State is one of only 41 National Cancer
Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only
seven centers funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical
trials. The NCI recently rated Ohio State’s cancer program as “exceptional,” the
highest rating given by NCI survey teams. As the cancer program’s 228-bed adult
patient-care component, The James is a “Top Hospital” as named by the Leapfrog
Group and one of the top cancer hospitals in the nation as ranked by U.S. News
& World Report.
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Contact: Eileen Scahill, Wexner Medical Center Public Affairs and Media
Relations, 614-293-3737, or Eileen.Scahill@osumc.edu